Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
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.
When Taylor never came back to her families lake house after the summer that she was Tweleve she was relieved that they didn't go back. However, this time they are going back because it is her father's last wish that they have a normal and together summer at their lake house one last time, Taylor's father has cancer.
As we go through the present day and those summer days five years ago, you see Taylor reconnect with the characters from her past espically her first boyfriend and her summer best friend. The secret that tore her apart from them is found out throughout the novel but Henry and Lucy still don't know why she ran away back home that summer.
Matson shows us that Taylor isn't perfect and with her flaw of running away when things get tough is exporled throughout. Taylor really grows throughout the story, she becomes less afraid and starts to accept the fact yes her father is going to die, yes she made a mistake five years ago and yes she is still running away from situations without actually running away.
Lucy was Taylor's old best friend and both are now working together along with their old friend Elliot at the beach shack. As Taylor and the other characters start to reconnect it unravels what happened five years ago. Henry and Taylor, well they start to continue their relationship after avoiding each other for a good half of the summer (bit hard when they live next door to each other) but it is still complicated and Taylor's flaw kicks back into gear.
Matson has created a great contemp YA read with the reconnection of friends and romance, the realities of life and brings in the strong sense of family values which seem to missing nowdays. The book is a tearjerker and I must say that Matson doesn't believe in happy endings one bit!