Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Note: If you haven’t read this novel yet, please don’t read this blog because this is a spoiler.

Okay. So this might be a little late because this novel is actually the second novel written by Morgan Matson and she now has five. Not that it’s only now that I’ve read this, but the thing is, I can’t really handle my emotions whenever I finish reading this.

I’ve read this novel many times already and my reaction is still the same: CRY! If you will not cry from this, then your heart is made up of stone or you don’t have any tear duct at all or worst, no emotions.
Morgan Matson is known to write novels which talk about family, friendship and romance. This book is a mixture of those three. The blurb goes like this and I quote:

“Taylor Edwards has a tendency to run away when things get tough. But when her father receives unexpected, terrible news, Taylor knows this is one situation she can’t outrun.

To have one last summer together, Taylor’s parents decide to take the family back to their old lake house in the Poconos. Even though Taylor was twelve the last time she went to Lake Phoenix, the people she left behind was still there- like her former best friend Lucy, who’s still hurting from long- ago betrayal, and her first crush Henry, who’s gotten five years cuter.

With nights full of fireflies and fireworks, the summer holds the possibility of forgiveness, and maybe even love. Taylor wants to hold on to the moment instead of walking away, but she knows the end of the summer is getting closer- and that time is running out to make the most of her second chance.”

So the beginning of the story is that Taylor’s parents decided to go to their summer residence in the Poconos to spend one last summer together as a family because her father is sick with cancer. But Lake Phoenix is the last place that Taylor wants to go because of the things she did five years earlier a.k.a. leaving her best friend and first boyfriend without any explanations at all. But she has no choice. This is the last summer that her father would get to spend with them so she needs to go.

Talking about her family, they are really not close to each other at all. I mean, there’s no personal or special connection between the three siblings, Warren, Taylor and Gelsey, you know, the typical siblings that we all know, only minding their own lives, fighting over simple things and many stupid little things that we do with our siblings. But as the summer slowly comes to an end, they found each other to be closer more than ever, that their father’s situation would actually bring them closer together as siblings and as a true family who would truly care for each other, ready to step up when one of them needs help. It might be true that their father will no longer get better which is an absolute heartache for them but as his health deteriorates and so the relationship within the Edwards family blossoms.

Taylor’s dad is really close to all of them, he has a particular bond with each of his children. But his connection to Taylor is really something else. Taylor was the only one who’s gotten the color of her father’s eyes and aside from this, they really do have a special bond that the two of them knows no matter what happens. Below, I have listed down all my favorite father-daughter moments between Robin and Taylor.

1. When Robin would pick up Taylor wherever she went after walking away from the house because of varied reasons and they would get ice cream and somehow whatever made Taylor mad is no longer a problem.

2. When they were already up at Lake Phoenix and they would go for little breakfasts, just the two of them, and they would answer questions to know more about each other.

3. When Robin told Taylor how he was so afraid because when Taylor was still an infant, she would sleep very peacefully that he would have to always check on her every single night to make sure that she’s still alive.

4. The fact that Robin really believes in the abilities of his children, all the more to Taylor.

5. When Robin caught Taylor sneaking in to the house at five a.m. after meeting Henry at the dock and told her that his window can really see everything in the dock. He’s not angry he even smiled to tease her! He even told her that Henry is nice!

6. When Taylor asked Robin’s nurse if her father can go outside to witness the meteor shower and told him how much she loves him.

7. When Taylor’s mom gave an envelope to Taylor containing letters from her father for specific purpose such as high school, college, masters and Ph. D. graduations, debut, wedding day and all the special occasions because he will no longer be there to say all those things to her in person. (This broke my heart).

Who will not cry from all these?

Also, personally speaking, I really don’t have a super close connection with my family. This novel made me realize that I should start connecting more with them rather than spending more time with myself or with friends. Proudly I can say, now, I have a better relationship with my brother whom I have chosen to ignore for the longest time because of our differences, pride and many misunderstandings and quarrels in the past. I’m just glad that none of us would have to go through serious illness before I realize that family is one of the most important things in the world and we really should make time for them and not be ashamed to say how much we love and care for them.

And talking about her friendship and love interest, they came to forgive each other and forget what happened five summers earlier. I won’t highlight these because even though this is also important, what really made me cry about this story is the family situation- how they came to conquer the walls they made for each other, how they come up to show how lucky they were to have one another. Because I guess everyone can relate to this no matter how light or heavy our problems with our families.

Lastly, I can only say good things for Morgan Matson for writing this great novel. So if you haven’t read this novel yet, you should now because literally, you’re missing half of your life already because this book would make you realize how important it is to appreciate every single moment that you have with your family and friends and all the other people that matters to you. It would make you realize that time is really precious and we should make the most out of it because you’ll never know what’s ahead!

Hope you enjoyed Second Chance Summer as much as I do! Thank you Morgan Matson!


Published by stylebyadriel

A Licenced Teacher trying lut to blog about food, fashion, books and travel.

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