YA Book Club: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson…

Picture1This is a copy of a post from July 2012 but since the YA Book Club of the wonderful Tracey  is discussing SECOND CHANCE SUMMER today, I had to repost it 🙂

Did you read this book? Do you participate in “offline” book clubs?

You know when emotions run wild while you´re reading and you´re feeling ALL the feelings?

That was me on Saturday night at 2am. I was supposed to be sleeping. Really, I was supposed to try to beat jetlag but that was impossible to do once I got into that story. I even thought of hiding under the covers with a flashlight or in another room if hubby happened to wake up to tell me I really should sleep because of that jetlag thing. Hubby just doesn´t understand when I cannot put a book down…

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

I really really enjoyed Morgan´s debut (yes she doesn´t know we´re on first name basis :D) AMY AND ROGER´s EPIC DETOUR but I loved this one.

Maybe it was because of the family dynamics which were much more present into this book or because Taylor is trying to deal with the illness of her father without really knowing how to or because I came to love the secondary characters so much I wanted to hug them through the pages.

The book includes flashbacks into past summers. Getting a glimpse into Taylor´s life as she was younger such as how her first kiss unfolded was so adorable, cute and at the same time so sad and so hopeful.

Source: favim.com via Emi on Pinterest

The relationship of Taylor and her dad felt real to me, just like the relationship she had with her mother and her siblings. I could hear them and see them. Taylor and her dad made me laugh and made my heart squeeze. So many times in that book, I tried to detach myself but couldn´t because the raw emotions running through me were too real. The gestures Taylor and her dad have for each other, their struggle to find a balance, his reminders to her throughout the book about how much he loves her, the hints she gives him are very powerful.

Taylor and her mom appear to not be as close but she recognizes it is also a result of all the walls she built around herself. I choked up at one thing Taylor says because it just felt so real. Taylor and her siblings pretty much discover each other during the summer and there are parts of this discovery that had me laughing (not too loud because of the sleeping hubby). But at the same time, you wonder just like Taylor if it´s ok to laugh in these moments. And then, there are Henry and Lucy….yes you should dicover yourself about Henry and Lucy. I think we all have a friend like Lucy, the childhood friend who knows you inside and out. And Henry, well…You´ll have to see for yourself.

This book is indeed about family, love, loss, friendship, growing up and about love. After all just like Taylor´s dad explains:

“And I’ve realized that the Beatles got it wrong. Love isn’t all we need—love is all there is.”

8 Comments

  1. katyupperman says:

    Love that Beatles bit you included at the end, Elodie. It perfectly sums up the themes of this story. Like you, I really enjoyed this book, particularly the strong family dynamics. Also Henry, because he was cute as can be. Now I need to read AMY AND ROGER because I’m officially a Morgan Matson fan. 🙂

  2. Alison Miller says:

    There were some AMAZING quotes in that book, and that Beatles one was definitely one of them. TRUE, TRUE, TRUE!!! And this: “I came to love the secondary characters so much I wanted to hug them through the pages.” I wanted to hug ALL of them!

    Great review, Elodie! I did very much enjoy EPIC DETOUR too, but I LOVED this story!

  3. Jaime Morrow says:

    This was such a good book, even if there were some seriously sad moments (the stargazing!). I think Morgan Matson handled this so well and struck the perfect balance between happy and sad. There was just enough romance to add a little swoon, but not too much. I like how she used the Beatles quote, as well as the Dickens quote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So, so true and a great way to sum up the story. Great review, Elodie!

  4. kate scott says:

    I enjoyed all the family relationships and felt like the growing together of Taylor and her sibs at the same time as she was getting to know and learning to say goodbye to her dad was very powerful. Even though it’s sad, it did give me hope, for Taylor and her family.

  5. I loved the moments you alluded to when Taylor was having fun or enjoying herself and pulled back because should she be laughing when her dad’s dying? Shouldn’t she avoid fun? It was such a real reaction to rekindling her first love—really, her only love—while losing a parent.

Comments put a smile on my face :-)

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