Saturday, 20 September 2014

Book review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Warning. This book will make you all happy and cheerful, kill you a little inside, and then just when you think you are fully composed, reduce you to floods of tears. And I'm meant to be someone who doesn't cry very often.

Second Chance Summer was everything I didn't expect it to be. It was a quick decision in WHSmith when I was spending vouchers approximately five minutes before my train was due to leave. To save me a trip back, I picked anything off the shelf to finish the money I had on the vouchers and ran for the train (I made it, in case you were wondering). I didn't expect to enjoy the book so much that it is now one of my favourites. It takes a lot for a book to reach my top five, considering how many books I have read in my lifetime. Yet there is little competition for this one.

The official description of the story line: Taylor Edwards has made leaving things behind into an art form. When things get tough, she gets going. Then her dad gets some terrible news and the whole family decides to spend the summer at their old lake house, where Taylor is forced to confront her past. She hasn't been to the lake for years and isn't keen to go back, but then she starts to reconnect with the people she thought she'd left behind - including Henry, her first crush, who's even cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. With fireworks, fireflies and midnight swims, the summer feels full of possibility and, for the first time, Taylor wants to hold on to the moment. But is one summer really enough to have a second chance - with family, friends and love?

All of the characters in this book are relateable and I like them all, which is rare. Admittedly, it took me a while to come around to liking little sister Gelsey but I got there in the end when she seems to show real emotion for the first time. There's a lovely moment when the two sisters are sitting on the couch together that changed my opinion of her. I also really liked Lucy, the ex-best friend. And the most important character to relate to, obviously, is Taylor. I hate it when a book has a good story line but the main character isn't likeable in the slightest. I love how Taylor is always doing things to embarrass herself and rarely gets things right - she sounds a bit like me.

To sum up, not the average soppy story I expected it to turn out to be.

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