05 June 2012

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Release Date: June 7, 2012
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Rating: All Time Favourite

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. - Goodreads

This is going to be a difficult review to write, and I honestly don't think I can put my feelings across very well when it comes to Second Chance Summer. I loved it so much, and it really touched my heart. I'll try not to get all sappy, because that would just be uncomfortable for you to read!

Firstly, this is a perfect summer read. It's set in Pennsylvania, and while I don't know much about it, it would seem that it has wonderful weather, mountains, scenery and lakes! Morgan Matson does an excellent job of describing the setting, and I felt like I was there on the dock with Taylor and her family.

Taylor was an amazing main character, and I don't often say this about female protagonists, as they often get on my nerves. Her personality shined through the pages, and it was a wonderful personality at that. She wasn't one of those FMCs that whinged and whined. She dealt with everything that was thrown at her, and I have so much respect for her for doing so.

Her relationship with Henry was perfect. I don't know what else to say about it. Their scenes were flawless. Henry was wonderful, and everything that I love in a MMC and love interest.

So, onto the tougher stuff. Taylor's dad has pancreatic cancer, and it's untreatable. He's been given just a few months to live. I was a bit hesitant about requesting and reading this book, because my Nanny died of cancer and it is a subject that almost always affects me when I read about it, or experience it through movies or TV. That said, Morgan Matson dealt with it brilliantly. I couldn't have asked for more.

I sobbed throughout the last forty or so pages. My heart broke for Taylor and her family, and I'm tearing up* a bit just thinking of it now. Not many books have this effect on me, but this one seemed to evoke such feelings in me... I can't explain it.

Obviously, the whole theme of this book is second chances, and I loved the way that this tied in with absolutely everything. Friendships, relationships, life, time with family and everything else and more.

Morgan Matson is such a gifted writer. I now know why everyone guses about Amy & Roger, because her writing style is brilliant, and the way she creates and tells a story is just... She is someone that I now greatly look up to, and someone who, as a novice writer, I would aspire to be like.

I'm not sure if this is a book that I would read again and again, but it's definitely one that I would recommend to every single one of you.

*Tearing up 'a bit' is one hell of an understatement. I just full on burst into tears.


  1. Wow, great review! I've seen this cover, but this is the first review I've read over it. I'm intrigued - sounds like a heartbreaker.

    1. Thank you! I think the US cover is more well known, but I love the UK one.

      It's definitely a heart breaker! Stock up on tissues if you get around to reading it!

  2. I've been hearing a lot of great things about this. It sounds like such an emotional read! Great review, Amber!

    And that cover is so cute!

    1. Thank you! I agree, the cover is adorable! It's even better in real life.

  3. I loved "Amy & Roger" and am glad Morgan Matson has a new book out, but like you I am hesitant to read it as My gran died 5 weeks ago of Pancreatic cancer and I'm not sure I would be able to handle reading about it.
    You said it made you cry but dealt with well, so do you think it's worth me giving it a go? I know that's a hard judgement as you don't know me, but what's your general opinion.

    Great honest review. Thanks. :D

    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your gran <3

      I lost my Nanny to cancer a number of years ago, and I'm not sure how I would have handled it if I read this book so soon after her death. There is lots of focus on Taylor's dad and his illness, and lots of descriptions about how it affects him. Towards the end, the imagery is tough to read.

      If you think you can handle it, you should give it a go. But don't be afraid to stop if it becomes overwhelming :)

      I doubt that was very helpful, sorry!

  4. Oh, wow, Amber, this sounds amazing. I have a review copy at home, and I really can't wait to get to it now! And WOW... this must have been hard to read... but it's so obvious you adored it! FABULOUS review! ♥

    1. Thanks Sarah! Hurry up and read it, it's flawless!

  5. great review, I read this one last night and I was in tears for the last 40 pages or so too, its such a tough book to read but so worth it and i agree that Matson deals with the book well. I'm sorry to hear about your Nanny, that must have made it so much worse for you.


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