How Second Chance Summer Ruined Me | A Book Review…ish

book-reviewsecond chance summer

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.


To be completely honest, I don’t know what the hell to say about this book. I felt like I was torturing myself reading it. Not because it was bad. It absolutely was not bad.

Let me start off with a little backstory. My dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in the late 80’s. I grew up helping my mom take care of him whichever way I can. I was a huge daddy’s girl. I looked up to him like a superhero. Even though he couldn’t walk, he was still invincible to me and could withstand anything. When I was scared at night, I would run to my parent’s room and get in-between them and snuggle the crap out of my dad, because he was the one who made the monsters go away. When I was older, I would just make a pallet on the floor near my dad’s side of the bed. We would fall asleep watching old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show or any of his other favorite shows when he was a kid. He was my protector. My best friend. He really was my everything.

I was around the same age as Taylor when my dad eventually passed away. What really got to me about Taylor’s situation is she didn’t have the lifetime that I did to be with her dad. She didn’t know his favorite color, artist, song, etc. They had to squeeze so much time together in such a small time span. I immediately felt extremely grateful for all of the memories that I have with my dad: He taught me how to play the drums (even though I complained because I wanted to bang this shit out to some Nirvana and he wanted me to start off by learning Merle Haggard.) He would call me when I was out with my friends just to tell me he loved me and I would always be annoyed with him about it. He drove his huge ass wheelchair in the small aisles of Hot Topic just to get me all of the Care Bears stuff that I wanted for Christmas when I was 13. (It was an in thing then, ok? Don’t judge me.)

Pretty much…I lost my shit during the end of the book. Scenes that happened are some that happened almost exactly to me. And you know, it just really sucks. I could relate to Taylor and her family so much. I could feel how they were hurting and what they were thinking, because I’ve been there. I know. I literally was crying my eyes out, trying to hold it together, because I felt like I was reading my father’s death all over again.

This was an incredibly diffcult book for me to get through but it also helped me remember my dad for the amazing man that he was and reminded me how thankful I am to have had such an incredible father. I wouldn’t trade those 15 years for anything.

If you’re looking for the usual cute & fluff from a Matson book, SECOND CHANCE SUMMER isn’t the one to grab. This is not the best book by her (it’s actually my least favorite :/) but that doesn’t mean it’s not an important one. I highly recommend this.


Now that I’ve probably either bored ya’ll to tears, let me know your thoughts on this book if you’ve read it or not. Did you enjoy it or no? Or if you haven’t read it, let me know which other Matson book is your favorite! Or talk to me about a book that you’ve been able to relate to like I was able to with this one.






Disappointing Reads of 2017 | Hype or Like Friday

hype or like friday

Hype or Like Friday is a new meme started by myself, Larkin & Jill. Make sure to follow our Good Reads group so you can keep up to date with the weekly topics & book of the month.



  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

December’s BOTM: Zodiac by Romina Russell



I think 2017 has probably been one of the worst reading years I’ve had. I’ve read so many mediocre books that it was kind of hard to narrow down my list to 10. I’m not sure if it’s because I genuinely wasn’t into these books or if I was subconsciously letting the negative things going on in my personal life get me down, so I wasn’t as invested in what I was reading. Either way, here are my top 10 most disappointing reads of 2017!


Didn’t Hate But Expected More

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray | P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell | Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton | Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

These books are ones that were SO hyped up that when I went into them, I naively expected masterpieces, especially with ELEANOR & PARK and REBEL OF THE SANDS. I hear nothing but amazing things about them, even to this day, and I hate that I wasn’t able to have the same experience as many. I did enjoy REBEL OF THE SANDS enough to pick up the sequel, though. I’m interested to see how the story plays out.

TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU, P.S. I LIKE YOU and ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER were definitely hyped up by my own doing. After devouring and loving A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, I was eager to continue on with the series. I really didn’t like the turn of the story and where it’s heading. I’m definitely continuing with this series because it’s still so interesting, but it’s not going where I would have hoped.  P.S. I LIKE YOU I think is unfortunately the case of me letting my personal life getting in the way of me enjoying books. This was the first book I picked up after leaving my husband and I just found it really hard to get into and enjoy. Normally, Kasie West books are books I can pick up to read quickly and make me happy, but I guess I was just so down that not even this good comfort me. I’m definitely not blaming the book in this case as I think there was nothing necessarily wrong with it. It was all me. ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER is a book I would have enjoyed in high school or perhaps a younger are. I really loved ANNA and LOLA but for some reason, this one felt like it read younger for me. It has also been over 3 years since I’ve read the other two books in this companion series so it’s possible that my reading tastes have changed over the years.



All of these books, besides LOVE & GELATO, received 2 stars from me. They were all books I was so excited about and sure I was going to love, but they all fell flat for multiple different reasons. KISSING MAX HOLDEN was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I was SO excited when I was accepted to read and review a copy of it from NetGalley. But I ended up having a lot of issues with this one. I can say that I’m sure this is a book that a lot of other contemporary fans would love. I’m sure that I’m just judging this one way too harshly. Maybe it’s because I hyped it up in my head or maybe I was just feeling extra salty that day. Either way, this wasn’t my favorite read and I really, really, really hate that. THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT  was an absolute let down. It was way too similar to one of my favorite fantasties, DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE, for me to be able to enjoy it. I felt like I was reading a poor rip-off of it the entire time. The characters weren’t very memorable nor the writing. If you can look past the similarities to other popular and better written fantasy series, then go ahead and try. But I warned you.  LET IT SNOW  is an anthology that I’ve heard nothing but great things about but it was kind of dull for me. I really did enjoy Maureen Johnson’s story but the other two were just blah. I think I’ve finally decided that I’m just not that big of a John Green fan. LOVE & GELATO was simply underwhelming for me. The sort-of love triangle annoyed me. I hated how the MC complained and whined a lot of the time. The mystery intrigued me but it was drug out so long and then once it got interesting, ended too quick. The ending of the story in general ended too abruptly for my taste. I feel I would have enjoyed it more if the beginning wasn’t so stretched out and the ending wasn’t so short. And finally, AS YOU WISH was absolutely the worst read of 2017. The premise sounded so promising but there were SO many triggers and people could potentially be hurt when reading this book. If you’re wanting to read this, please go in with caution. If you want more of my thoughts on this book, you can check my GoodReads review where I go a little bit more in depth. This book is set to release January of 2018.


Now that I’ve probably bored you to death with my bickering, there are my 10 disappointing reads of 2017!

Do you agree or disagree with any of the books on this list? Let me know in the comments! I would love to discuss. Also link me your Hype or Like Friday or if you’ve made a post similar to this. I would love to check it out!

I’ll Read You Someday…

i promise i'll read you

I’m a book hoarder. I collect books that I will never read because I think I might read them someday, maybe. A lot of these books I most likely won’t finish and I’m only buying and reading them because I want to fit in. Usually how this goes is I’ll read the book, hate it and won’t fit in even more. I thought it would be fun to share with you the 10 physical copies that I own and really do want to read and hopefully enjoy! If I shared what was all on my e-reader, we would be here all day and this might blog post might end up being longer than War & Peace. Maybe that will be a topic for a post another day!



Larkin raves about this book and recently I saw Sasha Alsberg read it and say it was one of her all time favorite books. I love reading books about magic and I’m honestly still surprised with myself that I haven’t read this yet. I’m really hoping that I can get to this soon but we’ll see. (PS, Lark, don’t even say it.)

the girl of fire and thorns

I have had this book on my shelf, just sitting there unloved, for probably 3 years now. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put it on my monthly TBR and never got to it. That’s just SAD. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this series and I really want to try to make it a priority and get this book read in 2018. I will feel SO accomplished if I can just do that.

the catcher in the rye

I’m actually around 100 pages into this novel but I’m still going to count it because I haven’t finished it yet. I haven’t picked it up in a year or so, too, but I do remember enjoying what I was reading. I’m really intrigued to see which side I’ll stand on when it comes to liking or hating Holden Caulfield. So far, I like him?

ill give you the sun

I’ve had this book for what feels like ages. I’ve heard amazing things about it, but for some reason I’m not craving to read it. Maybe because I’ve heard its sad? Hell, I don’t know. I’m wanting to try and read books that have been on my shelf the longest in 2018 so this is one of them! I’m hoping I like it but I’m going to go ahead and predict it’ll be a 3 star read for me.

the mysterious benedict society

I can’t remember where I’ve first heard about this book, it was either a blog or on BookTube, but I do remember going online and immediately buying it. Years later, it’s still on my shelf, sad and lonely. I’ve been meaning to pick it up multiple times but have never gotten around to it. Larkin, buddy read soon?!

between shade of gray

I’m honestly pretty pissed at myself that I haven’t read this yet. I’ve read and loved Sepetys’ other two novels but this one is just sitting there, unread and unloved. I’m really hoping to get to this one atleast before winter is over!

the conspiracy of us

This is the case of dying to read a book so bad and then when you finally have it in your possession, you just keep putting it off in fear that it won’t live up to the hype you have built in your head. I’m a huge fan of The Da Vinci Code and National Treasure and I’ve heard that this is kind of a YA version of them? If so, count me in!

ava lavender

Same point as The Conspiracy of Us. I have this book so hyped up in my head that I’m scared it won’t live up! I’ve heard that this book is one of beautifully written YA books out there and I don’t know about you, but that screams HYPE to me. It’s super short so I’m hoping I can get to this and knock it out within a day or two.

school for good and evil

This book seems like it’d be such a fun fantasy ride! I love books set in boarding schools, especially fantastical ones, and with the twist of good and evil within the plot, I think this will definitely be a series I’ll enjoy. It’s middle grade so even though it’s a little chunky, I should still be able to fly through it! Hopefully.

we all looked up

To be honest, this gorgeous yet simple cover is what got me attached to this book. I wanted it before I even knew what it was about. Then reading the plot that it’s about this group of teenagers who are trying to live their lives the best that they can before an aestroid is predicted to hit Earth. It seems like this has potential to be a powerful read!


Have you read any of these? Please let me know if you have and what you’ve thought of them! Would you be interested in an e-reader edition of this post? Talk to me in the comments below. I would LOVE to hear from you!


Waiting on Wednesday | #1

waiting on wednesday

I’ve never read a Katie McGarry book but I’ve heard such amazing things about them! I’m very interested in reading one and I think SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME will be the perfect book to start. I’m a big fan of the “guy on the wrong tracks” trope so this definitely will be one I’ll be picking up soon. Isn’t the cover is just BEAUTIFUL. All of those gorgeous purples and the image of the ferrish wheel. I’m in love with it.


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From critically acclaimed author Katie McGarry, comes SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME—a story of two people from different worlds pushing themselves, and each other, to get what they deserve!

SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME releases on January 30, 2018. Pre-order your copy today!

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“Doesn’t matter who did it. Not anymore. I did the time. It’s over.”

When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.

Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.






Google Play:




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Add it to your Goodreads Now!

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About Katie McGarry:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.



Twitter: @katiemcgarry







Doesn’t this book sound great? I’m really excited to get my hands on it! Have you ever read a book by Katie McGarry? Or will this be your potential first just like me? If you’ve already read a book by her, which one was your favorite?! Let me know in the comments!


Standalone Sunday | #5


Standalone Sunday is a feature created by Megan @ Bookslayer Reads where each Sunday we will feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend!

I’m trying to be consistent in my favorite daily features so here’s a Standalone Sunday for you!

arrowDill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces dthe-serpent-kingown bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia, neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending- one that will rock his life to the core.


I read THE SERPENT KING as a buddy read with Jess (@literarilyjess on Twitter) at the beginning of 2017. I went in with an open mind because at that time I’ve heard mixed things about the book, the writing and the author as a person. The premise of this still really spoke to me so I wanted to give it a try. It quickly turned into one of my favortie books of all time. It’s so heart-wrenching and it makes you really think. It is a tough read. You will most likely cry. But this book is definitely a MUST READ. If you would like to read more in-depth details on why I love this book, I have a review for it here. Please take a look!


If you’ve made a Standalone Sunday post, please link me in the comments so I can check it out! Have you read THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner? What are your thoughts on the book?