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Author: Morgan Matson| Website | Blog|
Publication Date: May 8th, 2012 |
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
My Interest:Summer Contemp, Recommended by a Teen|
Source: Library
Age Group | Genre: YA| Contemporary, Romance, Realism, Grief
Series: No|
Pages: 468

Since Sarah Dessen doesn’t turn out new books every week during the summer, I’m always on the lookout for a great summer-contemporary-romance. As I was perusing the library about a month ago, I bumped into a teen friend who shares my love of stories. She said I HAD to check out this book, proceeded to pull it off the shelf, and put it on the top of  the stack at my #1 read.
I am so ridiculously glad she did.

I checked out a copy from my local library. I was not compensated in any way for my words (cross my heart) nor did I promise a good rating. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.


Taylor’s family isn’t the closest because everyone is so busy with work, school, and other schedule fillers, but despite those obstacles their family works. Then her father receives life-altering news and the family decides to take one last summer trip to their family cabin in the Pocono Mountains.

As the family gets to know one another all over again, Taylor also happens to run into some old childhood friends, bringing back good memories and the bad. Though, her former boyfriend is much cuter now at age 17 versus 12, but the question is, will he forgive her for all those summers ago.

As the summer moves forward, and as Taylor’s family grows closer than they ever have before, she realizes that sometimes, life does give second chances–in family, in friends, and in love.


This. Book.
You guys. I have to be candidly honest. I fell in love with this story just by looking at the cover, and then I bawled like a baby as I turned the last few pages.

If I’m  being completely honest, this is my first foray into Matson’s writing, AND I had never even heard of this story until my teen friend pulled it off the shelf for me. I know. I’m a terrible contemp nerd. I have this huge thing for Sarah Desson that sort of keeps me reeled in from branching out in the genre. But not anymore.

This is definitely my favorite book of the moment, and one of those books I needed in the moment.

As far as summer settings go, Matson had my imagination going wild with the Pocono mountains and the lakeside cabins. Her description is breathtakingly beautiful, and every bit drew me further into the story. A lot of times, summer settings are what really lay down the contemporary for me. There’s just something about living in the middle of land-locked IL that has me craving the beach or water or anything other than flat lands during summer. With Second Chance Summer, I got to escape to somewhere different, and I loved how Matson’s vividness helped create a beautiful reading atmosphere.

It wasn’t just the settings I feel in love with, but the characters as well. Ok, so contemporaries also have to have some swoon-worthy boy for me to be able to relive my teen years. And yes, my husband knows I have this thing for characters. It’s nothing really. They’re gone when I close the book. But I digress.
Yes, Logan is definitely swoon-worthy, but his personality, and attitude, and  gentle spirit makes him perfect for Taylor. Even though I want to smack her over the head a few times for her silly thinking and decisions, I understand where she’s coming from. She’s scared, and lost, and worried, and fearful. And all of these bad emotions plague her in this summer–a second chance at love seems impossible. But it’s not, and Taylor and Logan, and all of the other secondary characters are so realistic that I feel if I visited the Lakeside community, I’d run into them and stike up great conversations. Perhaps my teen self would even chase after Logan….Whether or not I would, if I were Taylor struggling with this hard summer, Logan would be the person I would want in my corner.

Second Chance Summer isn’t just about swoon-worthy boys and summer beach romances though. It’s about something real. At a time in my life where I am grieving the loss of someone I love, this is a story that spoke to me. I finished it in two days, and if I hadn’t fallen asleep, I would have read it in one run. It is a story that reaches deep into the heart of all of us, pulls out our greatest fear, and speaks it. Even though Second Chance Summer pulls readers into the realm of grief, it offers hope and joy, and chances like no other.

If you like this novel, you might like….

In Honor by Jessi Kirby


Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

Or if you enjoy: Sarah Dessen stories, Susane Colasanti books, Deb Caletti novels, beach reads, boys, summer reads, kissing, and family stories

Final Thoughts

scs-final-wordsBook Talk: Have you read Second Chance Summer yet? It’s quite possibly my new favorite book. Did you bawl terribly at the end like I did?

Hopeful reading!