Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


To sum this book up in two words: heartbreaking but also heartwarming.
The story follows a girl called Taylor and she has always been close with her Dad but it wasn’t until her family go to spend their summer at their old lake house from the past that she really gets to know him. Taylor is confronted with people she used to be friends with until her friendship with them ended badly five years ago: the last time she visited the lake house. Although this is a sad story it is also one full of laughs and fun characters. And despite her Dad’s illness Taylor finds herself having a summer she will never forget.
The title of the book tells you a lot about the story that awaits you. For our protagonist Taylor this coming summer really is a time for second chances. It is a second chance with some people from the past, a second chance to get to know her ill father and spend time with her family but also to give herself a second chance. Taylor has always ran away from her problems but this summer she finds herself put in a situation impossible to run from. She has the chance to right the past and be true to herself.
This book had a really good sense of community

about it. All these people come together every summer and enjoy the summer months together. Many of the children have been coming up since they were babies and so in a way they grow up together. Many make their best friends for life over the space of a few months despite the fact that they may live hours away from one another. I thought that this was really interesting to read about.

I loved this book and I can not recommend it enough. If you have not checked it out yet, please go and do so because it really is fantastic.
I wish this book had a sequel, just so that I could visit Taylor’s family and friends again. There was just so many characters that I loved even though some were only minor characters: Warren, Henry, Gelsey, Lucy, Elliot, Taylor’s dad, Davy, even Fred (Taylor’s boss) and of course Taylor herself.
I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks Matson included throughout the novel as I was eager to learn more about Taylor and the time she spent at the lake house in the past. I needed to know what exactly happened five years ago at the lake house especially as Matson didn’t seem to be in a rush about revealing this piece of information. I feel though that when this information was shared, it was, well, a bit disappointing. I mean, yes it certainly wasn’t good that Taylor ran away and left her friends without saying goodbye but it wasn’t the worst thing to happen in the world. I think it was just too built up because it was something that could be easily sorted out with an apology. I am not criticizing the book however because this was obviously just a stupid incident that over time Taylor has built up in her head to something massive. I’m just saying from Taylor’s behavior I thought it was going to be a lot worse.
I admired Taylor as a character as I thought she handled her situation well especially at the end.
I hope that you enjoyed this book as much as I did!

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