Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

This book addresses death and the loss of a parent.

That said, I can assure you that Second Chance Summer is not about death. It’s about living, coping, and embracing the people in your life while you can. Morgan Matson handles the topic of death and loss in a way that doesn’t oversimplify, generalize, or minimize the experience. She just seems to get it and write it perfectly.

I read this book for about 1/4 of 2018. It took me about 3-4 months to finish it, but not because it was boring. I wanted to take my time with this book, and I was honestly just very busy with my classes and work.



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Part of why I wanted to take my time with this book is because it felt very personal to me. My father died when I was 17, so I could relate with most of what Taylor felt and went through when she finds out her dad is sick and then has to watch him get worse.

I thought that I would have a lot to say about this book after I finished it, but I procrastinated writing this review because I realized that most of my feelings about this book were very personal and emotional, in a particular way that feels more intimate and vulnerable than I usually feel reading emotional books.

This book has flashbacks to when Taylor was about 12 years old, when she fell in love with her first boyfriend and lost her best friend. I thought I wouldn’t like this format at first, but it worked very well and grew on me.

Despite the sad moments and all the tears I cried for Taylor and her family, this book was incredibly funny and heartwarming. There were multiple instances where I found myself laughing out loud and squealing with excitement for Taylor.

A Walk to Remember

I cried all the tears.I can confirm that Matson can do it all, even in just one book: humor, heartbreak, unbearable loss and grief, romance…

Second Chance Summer has everything I usually want in a contemporary YA novel: believable and complicated characters, amazing friendships and familial relationships, and, of course, some sort of romance.

I’ve almost read all of Morgan Matson’s books now, and each book so far always feels so genuine and perfectly complicated, the way most people’s lives actually are. If you’re a fan of contemporary, then you absolutely should give Matson’s books at try ASAP, if you haven’t already.


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