Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published: 5-8-2012 by Simon + Schuster
Get the book: Amazon
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.
Design – Lucy Ruth Cummins Rating – 4/5
I like the color scheme – the various shades of peachy orange and the silver text are nice. I also like how the girl on the cover is in shadow and eclipsing a bit of the title. It’s a nice break from the norm to have the title font featured so boldly. I enjoy how the font wraps over to the spine.
After really loving Morgan Matson’s first book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, I had pretty high expectations for this one. It just didn’t compare and I found it hard to get into this book. It was really difficult for me to find anything to like in this one.
- the dog – I thought that the storyline with the stray dog was sweet, and it was funny how everyone had such different reactions to his presence.
- the fight / what Taylor did – So, Taylor is 17 and 5 years ago she did something horrible so now her summer friends don’t speak to her. It was so horrible that the reader apparently needs to be kept in the dark until well into the book, and it’s a thick book. First of all, she was 12 when this happened. Just how bad could it possibly be if she 12? Plus, every time a flashback began, I thought it was finally going to reveal what Taylor did. The first time a flashback passed without doing so I figured that it would be soon. When another had passed with no answers, I couldn’t keep from rolling my eyes. It was unnecessary to leave the reader out when every main character knew what had happened and talked about it.
- predictable – The dog, the blonde girl…I could see everything coming from a mile away. It was like this for the entire book and it was lame. I could give more examples, but I don’t want to give away what little surprise there is.
- plot focus – Although Taylor’s family is in crisis, it seemed like most of the book was about Taylor’s old fight with Lucy and Henry. Then it was about their new friendships. I understand that she needed support, but I think there should have been bonding with her family.
- Warren began unpacking his box, lining up row after row of plastic ketchup squeeze bottles on the counter in perfectly straight lines, as though there might be some sort of epic condiment battle looming on the horizon. I stared at them. “Is Pennsylvania having some sort of ketchup shortage that I’m not aware of?” – Warren + Taylor pg. 29
- “I couldn’t believe it when you showed up on the dock,” he said with a laugh. “I thought I was hallucinating for a minute.” “Me too,” I confessed. “I thought you’d never speak to me again.” “I tried,” he reminded me, and I smiled at that. “But seriously,” he said, looking right at me, his tone a little more measured, “you’re a hard habit to break.” – Taylor + Henry pg. 356-357