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.