Tuesday, September 3, 2013

YA Book Club: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

YA book club is hosted by Tracey Neithercott. This month's book is Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson.

Second Chance Summer

From Goodreads:
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 absolutely loved Morgan Matson's debut, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, but I held off on reading this book for a long time because I knew it would be so sad. That's why I'm glad it was chosen for YA Book Club - it gave me the push I needed to read it. I loved it.

I could definitely relate to Taylor and her family. My family is similar in many ways - we get along fine, but I wouldn't say we are super close. We don't hug constantly or say "I love you" all the time, and we're not the type to sit around and talk about our feelings or sad things. 

Even though I'm the oldest in my family, I couldn't help but think of my siblings. My brother is also super smart like Warren. And I don't know if it's necessarily a talent (like Gelsey's ballet), but my sister is a teacher and everyone thinks she is really good at it. And then there's me, the unexceptional one in the family. I like to think I'm a pretty good writer (and I am a journalist on the side, although not a "real" journalist according to my dad) but until I get a book published, it doesn't count. 

There's so much more to the story than just her dad's health. There's a former best friend and boyfriend. A job at the beach. New friends. A dog. There's just so much about the book that I loved.

I enjoyed finding out what happened with Taylor's former best friend. I like stories where best friends have falling outs, having been there myself. Every YA main character has a best friend. But not every friendship is perfect! I love books that explore friendships. Also loved Henry and their relationship as well. It was really sweet. 

Despite all the sadness with her dad, it really wasn't a sad book. I loved reading about her summer adventures, especially since I've never had a summer like that - staying in a lake house, spending all summer on the beach. I liked the breakfasts between Taylor and her dad or how they'd stop for ice cream. Or the silly puns. Even though there was always that sadness in the back of my mind, it still made me smile. Everything made me think of my own dad, even though I hate the idea of anything bad ever happening to him.

This book is definitely sad. It made me cry. But I loved it.