Second Chance Summer
From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour comes a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. Taylor Edwards's 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.
- Paperback | 468 pages
- 140 x 208 x 36mm | 408g
- 07 May 2013
- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- New York, NY, United States
- Reprint ed.
*"Matson writes subtly about complex family dynamics, grief, and the impending loss of a parent in a way that is both beautiful and true...Readers who love the work of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will feel intensely for this cast of vulnerable characters who demonstrate integrity, personality, and perseverance as they work to bridge the distances between them."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
Our customer reviews
Hapiness, frustration, hopelessness, forgivness, sadness, annoyance, loss, joy, despair,... Those are all the things that you encounter when reading Secong chance summer, and all of them play with your feelings in such a sophisticated way that you don't see what hit you (the fact that it made me cry in chapter two should tell you everything you need to know). Three weeks ago, on Taylor Edwards' seventeenth birth-day, the life of the Edwards family was forever changed. Her pun-loving father was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and had three months left to live. Deciding to spend the last summer at their lake house, where five years ago, a twelve-year-old Taylor left behind destruction which she will now have to face alongside nearing an inevitable tragedy promising unimaginable heart break. It was never easy for Taylor to live with two prodigy siblings: Gelsey being an exceptional ballet dancer, inheriting their mother's talent; and Warren having a photographic memory, always proving his amazing academic skills. The only talent Taylor seems to have is running away when things get tough. Ã??Ã?Â¢??As I looked out at the water, I realized there was nowhere to go, nowhere left to run. And I just had to stay here, facing this terrible truth.Ã??Ã?Â¢?? Although throughout the story we witness great character development, especially among the Edwards children, my favorite character remains their mom, who shoved nothing but strenth, courage and infinite amount of patience and love. What really got to me, though, was Taylor's relationship with her dad as she got to know him better during their summer, learning little things that make him who he is and realizing that they were very much alike. And as the only thing left to do was count down the days, Henry, Taylor's first boyfriend, and Lucy, ex-bff, kept Taylor's focus off the calendar hanging in her kitchen and I grew to care for them very much. It is a powerful story about friendship, family and love; second and last chances.show moreby Jozica Kubot
I immediately connected with Taylor's voice. I had such sympathy for what was going on with her dad, because it was made clear her sadness, and just the feeling of not knowing what to do in that sort of circumstance. I also related with her on her wanting to run away, or try to avoid a problem because that was my form of dealing when I was in high school as well. I appreciated the value placed on family in Second Chance Summer. There is enough bickering between the siblings to make it realistic, and the parents are just the right amount of annoying at the right times. But you could plainly see that everyone cares for one another. And I like how she identifies what type of family they are--not touchy feeley in the physical aspect, so she valued hugs even more than someone who gets one just to say good afternoon. But I appreciated how close they got, and how much they learned about one another, and I think that it is so sad that a lot of families have to have tragedies hit in order to really connect and lean on your family. The mystery of what exactly happened between Taylor, Henry and Lucy had me captivated. I knew that something went down, and then she was away from the summer lake house for quite some time. When she returned she is put face to face with Henry in awkward situations, and I loved the tension that was there. Yes, there was anger and hurt, but there was also caring buried in there somewhere. The scenes where her father is in pain, or they are worrying, and trying to find the balance of fulfilling his wish they have a "normal summer" and trying to get in time with him all tug on my heart. Ms. Matson writes emotion so vividly and I did not want to put the book down. I wanted to keep reading about what the characters are doing, feeling, and how they are growing and changing as a result of this summer, where she realizes maybe there can be a second chance for love and friendship, but on some things there just can't be any more that can be done. Henry in this book is so sweet, understanding and crushworthy. Especially when what happened summers ago is revealed. I won't say a lot about him except I really enjoyed reading his character. Another secondary character that I adored was Taylor's brother Warren. He is so nerdy and intelligent except when it comes to social matters, and it is fun watching him fumble around in that aspect as well. The ending was so sad, but I appreciated how hope was woven in. Taylor grew so much, but it was hard because of what it took and the pain that she went through in order for the change to come about. Bottom Line: All the elements of a perfect summer read with heartbreak on the side.show moreby Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)