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I always equate Labor Day with the last weekend of summer. And so, because I’m in need of some good vibes and ready to go out with a bang this summer—I thought a new

S&S

would be the great way to relive a good, if difficult, summer.

I am so not ready to pack up my swimsuit, shorts, and let my tan fade.
Summer seems to take so long to get here–and then my weeks fill up with life–and it’s over before I can even blink.
But this summer was different. There was a vibe I can’t place my finger on.
A freedom.
A joy.
And no matter what seemed to come my way–every day was spent smiling, and living, and anticipating the adventure that would come next.

I raved about today’s story a few months ago, but it’s one I want to revisit because I think it sums up my summer perfectly.
Just another reason why I believe in the power of story. They often say the things we cannot and inspire us to hope and take chances we might never otherwise take.
Today’s Soundtracks and Stories pair up is—

SCSAuthor: Morgan Matson | Website | Publication Date: May 8th, 2012 |
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Source: Library |
My Interest: Summer, Teen recommended|
Age Group | Genre: YA | Contemporary, Romance, Grief| Series: No|
Pages: 468|

The Story

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.

I won’t hardcore review the story here since I already spewed out my heart about it, but I will say one thing: This was my summer. Second Chance Summer spoke to me in a way a story hasn’t done for awhile. I have spent the last several months grieving the loss of my grandmother and now my awesome sidekick. I’ve been reminded as I saw friends hurting or dealing with loss that grief is a part of our life–in so many forms.
But I was also reminded this summer that second chances are beautiful. That out of loss comes new life and new hope. We can anticipate the coming joy, and revel in the the fact that though summer comes again and the season of dreariness is around the corner–just beyond that lies light whispering, “it’s all right.”

The Song

If there ever was a soundtracks & stories perfect match, I’d place my bets on this one.

I know this song is a classic, but it happens to be one of my favorites. It’s a song of joy, and I think it’s the story of Taylor:
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter / Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here / Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces / Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

I mean–Taylor is not only dealing with grief but she’s living it. As the summer grows to an end, she’s watching someone she loves disappear from her. There’s a long, cold, lonely winter ahead of her and in front of her. But she discovers–through living, through loving, through family time, and moments of finding herself that the sun will come. And things will be alright.

Second Chance Summer is such a fabulous read–I encourage you to pick it up. It’s one of those that not only takes you back to summer, but walks you through life. It’s beauty, and joy, and hope all wrapped into words.

The Suggestion

If you are a fan of contemporary, romance, swoon-worthy reads, grief and loss, beaches, summer sunshine, and boys.

Book Talk: So what do you think? Are you a Soundtracks & Stories kind of reader or am I some crazy person trying to piece together lyrics and novels? If you’ve read the book and know the song –or even if you’ve just now heard it–do you see how they fit together? Or at least how my mind fits them together?

Want to share your own Soundtrack & Stories? Email me at thehopefulheroine (at) gmail (dot) com or hit me up via Twitter @hopefulheroine or fill out the form below!

Hopeful reading!

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