Books + Coffee = Happiness

Friday, 14 December 2012

Book Review: Second Chance Summer - Morgan Matson

Published May 8 2012 by Simon and Schuster Publishing

Goodreads Description
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.

Wow. I really loved this book. It's been a really long time since I've read something that moved me really deeply. I first heard of Morgan Matson when I picked up her debut book, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, which I also really liked. So when she published this one, I had to read it.

Like the summary says, Taylor's family isn't the closest. Her older brother, Warren, was the smart child in the family. He knew everything from academics to random trivia stuff such as why and how certain things were invented. Taylor's younger sister, Gelsey, was talented in ballet, and liked to spend her summers at dance camp. As the middle child, Taylor didn't consider herself to be a genius in anything. Maybe except running away. Which she did whenever it got too hard for her to stand it. However, when the family received tragic news regarding 4th stage pancreatic cancer in Taylor's dad, they decide to spend one last summer together at the lake house.

Every summer for as long as Taylor could remember, they had spent their summer in the Pocono Mountains by the lake. However, it all stopped when Taylor was 12. After a whole misunderstanding between her ex-best friend, ex-boyfriend and herself, Taylor refused to return and it seemd like the whole family found excuses not to go back. But there was no stopping them this time around.

In a place where there's no where to run to, Taylor is forced to bear through situations where she would normally run from if she got the chance. This includes seeing her ex-best friend, Lucy, and her ex-boyfriend, Henry. And neither are happy about meeting her again.

Although Taylor's summer started out rockily, it became more and more tolerable as Taylor learns that she needed to stop running away, advice that was given by her father, whom she was closest to in the family. Slowly, friendships mended and her relationships with her family improved as she got to know them better. However, even though Taylor gets a second chance with her friends, family and maybe even love, she's aware of the time that is ticking away, taking away someone who she had never gotten a chance to know until this summer.

Honestly, in the beginning, I was frustrated with Taylor's lack of courage. Running away never solved anything and most of the time, it made it worse for her. But at the same time, it was Taylor's character flaw and it improved as the book progressed. While I liked seeing her relationship mend itself with Henry, Lucy and her family members, it was the time that she spent with her father that really moved me.

Robin Edwards was described as a large, strong man that seemed to always be present in Taylor's life. Whenever she ran away, he was the one who found her and instead of demanding to know why she took off, he would comfort her and wait until she was ready to talk about it. Unfortunately, as time passed, it was evident both to the reader and Taylor, that Robin Edwards was getting progressively weaker as the cancer took its toll. And Taylor knew that her chance to know her father was slipping away. Slowly, the two of them bonded over countless trivial questions (such as their favorite movies, colour etc.) and the time that they spent together. But the good times didn't last.

I started to tear up a little when Robin was bedridden, so weak that he was unable to remain awake for long periods of time. Seeing a get well card during a hospital visit makes Taylor realize that she had not said that she loved her father for many years. It took her some time to finally say it to him during a special moment for both of them. And there it was that I had to put the book down during my bus ride because it was so emotional that it was painful to keep my tears from escaping.

Morgan Matson did an amazing job with this one. I could experience each and every one of Taylor's emotions as though they were my own. Her words were beautifully, yet powerfully written and I found that I couldn't put this book down. It was a serious heartgripper and one that I'll remember when it comes to recommendations.

Source: Borrowed
My rating: 5 coffee cups (Loved it and couldn't put it down)

No comments:

Post a Comment