BOOK REVIEW: Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson

RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2012
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGE COUNT: 468 pages
SOURCE: Library

From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 

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 had been hearing so many amazing things about Morgan Matson’s novel, Second Chance Summer — the follow up to her amazing novel, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour — that I immediately put myself on the hold list when I saw my local library was getting it. Admittedly, I wasn’t going to read this one immediately because the hardback was such a beautiful book that I wanted a copy of it for my shelf, but I needed something that was really going to keep my interest so I dove in. 

I was not expecting to completely fall in love with this book! As it starts off, Taylor’s family isn’t very close, but her dad has been diagnosed with cancer with a time frame, so they go to the lake for the summer. I loved seeing the family get closer and closer as the summer goes by, as well as seeing how the family reacts to the changes in the father’s, Robin’s, demeanour as he succumbs to his disease.

But the book isn’t all sad — it’s not just a book about losing a family member, but also a book about getting second chances. It’s been five years since Taylor’s family has even been to the lake and there were many loose ends after the last summer. We meet wonderful characters — Henry, Lucy, Elliot, as well as Murphy, the dog. I loved seeing all of the relationships as they evolved throughout the book — they were all touching, all heartbreaking, and all so believable.

The only book that made me feel so many emotions was John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. The only difference between that one and Second Chance Summer is that there’s definitely a lot more humour in Green’s book — BUT, even though there’s not a lot of wisecracking going on, there is so much of everything else. I honestly loved this book and would read it again and again.

Despite the sadness that takes place, this is the perfect summer read. It made me want to sit on a dock, with my feet in the water, the sun on my face, the sand on my skin. It was all just so beautiful. Have lots of tissue when you read this one because I had about three major instances where I bawled like a baby!

This book is a masterpiece. It was put together so perfectly and I finished it with a feeling of love and sadness. Morgan Matson has gone to the top of my list and I cannot wait until her next book is released.

© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.


10 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Second Chance Summer, by Morgan Matson

  1. This sounds like my kind of book. I seem to love emotional books lately that make me cry and give a bit of release so I’m not holding everything in.

    It sounds like a great book and I’m gald you enjoyed it so much!

  2. This book sounds amazing! I have read a couple emotional reviews about it and it convinced me I need to read it. It’s on its way to me and I can’t wait to get it! Great review!

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