Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse 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 summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware 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.

My Review:

I was given this book as a RAK from Kelly @ The Reading Kelly.  Thank you, Kelly!  I absolutely loved this book.  It had a great story and setting, but in this review, I am going to focus on the characters.  


First, I'd like to mention Taylor and her family.  Taylor was a wonderfully developed character.  She did not want to go back to the place where two of her relationships had imploded, but her dad wanted to spend his last summer.   Throughout their summer together, Taylor and her family were able to get closer.  There were amazing moments between Taylor and her dad as they went out to have breakfast or ice cream.  It was also slightly to see this developing relationship because I knew about his illness.  There were also a few good moments between her mom, the former ballerina, and Taylor.  Taylor's siblings were also well-developed.  They each had their own personalities and quirks.  Gelsey was a ballerina who had the habit of stretching a lot.  Warren was a very smart brother who loved to spout facts to anyone who wanted (or didn't want) to listen.

Next, there were the people who Taylor had known from summers ago.  Henry was a sweet guy who had been Taylor's first boyfriend when they were 12.  She had hurt him years ago, but he was able to get over their past and become friends with her again.  I loved their friendship grow into more as he became her boyfriend again.  Then there was Lucy.  She had become mad at Taylor because she told Taylor she liked Henry, but Taylor didn't tell Lucy she was dating Henry.  She held a grudge against Taylor, but, as the book progressed, they became friends again.  

Then, there were all the minor characters who had personalities as well.  Elliot was coworker with Lucy and Taylor who secretly liked Lucy.  He was a good guy, and he came to Taylor's rescue when she had trouble making the introduction at the movie night.  Fred was the boss who loved to fish and wanted his workers to do their job so he could just go and fish.  The Gardners were the next-door neighbors who wrote scripts and acted them out.  They had a daughter, Nora, who became friends with Gelsey.   I loved the sleepover scene with Nora, Gelsey, Taylor, and Lucy.  Last, there was Wendy.  She was the pet store worker who wanted to be a vet.  Her and Warren began to date, and they made a good couple.

If you want a good, character-driven YA contemporary, read this book.


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