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Teen Book Review

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Rating 5

Reviewed by Lianna, Spencer TAB

The Edwards family has never been really close; everyone always seems to have their own separate things to do. Taylor’s younger sister, Gelsey, has ballet, Taylor’s older brother, Warren, has scholarly activities, and Taylor has an annoying knack for running away when things get tough. But that changes when Taylor’s dad receives tragic news about his health. The family packs up the car and heads to their old lake house for the summer. They have not been there in five years, having been too preoccupied—unintentionally or not—to return the past five summers. Taylor has been avoiding going back because the last time she was there, she messed things up with her best friend and her boyfriend. But this summer it is inevitable that she will run into them, as the first day there, she stumbles upon Henry, her boyfriend from five years ago whom she has been trying to forget. Taylor must repair things with her old friends, as she lives through her dad’s health problems.

Set against the backdrop of Lake Phoenix in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, the feel-good story about mending past mistakes and rekindling old romances clashes with the tragedy Taylor and her family must face dealing with Mr. Edwards’ health. Through it all, Taylor experiences an emotional and mental journey as she learns to face her fears, rather than running away. This book has a bit of humor, a bit of romance, and a lot of second chances for Taylor. If you enjoy realistic fiction without the drugs, sex, and alcohol characteristic of so many other teen novels, this book is for you. If you liked Morgan Matson’s first book, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, you will love her second. Be warned though, tissues are recommended.

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