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Second Chance Summer Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


*"Matson has blended romance, humor, teen angst, boring summer jobs, and a truly tragic event into a wonderfully readable story, told in a manner that trusts teens’ intelligence. Jenny Han’s and Sarah Dessen’s fans will gobble this up."--SLJ, starred review

"Warning: tissues recommended."--The Boston Globe

“The exploration of the father-daughter relationship is warm, sensitive, and heartbreaking, with Taylor realizing how much she counts on the man she’s going to lose. Between the dreamy romance and the four-hankie family story, this is a satisfyingly emotional summer tale.” --BCCB

*"Matson writes subtly about complex family dynamics, grief, and the impending loss of a parent in a way that is both beautiful and true...Readers who love the work of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will feel intensely for this cast of vulnerable characters who demonstrate integrity, personality, and perseverance as they work to bridge the distances between them."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"[Second Chance Summer] is a sweet, well written coming-of-age book that pulls at the reader’s heartstrings...This is a compelling story that reads fast and grips readers until the very end."

*"This is a bittersweet, powerful tale of family devotion, the sustainability of true friendship, and the silent courage of loving someone enough to stay and watch them die."
---Booklist, starred review

About the Author

Morgan Matson received her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. She was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at MorganMatson.com.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1020L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; First Edition / First Printing edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416990674
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416990673
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
You know, just as a warning: When you reach the last half, I advise you to grab a tissue or two (or three, or four, or--you know what? Just take the entire box.) Seriously. You're going to need it. If there's one word to describe Second Chance Summer, it's heartbreaking.

Can I say heartbreaking again? Yes? Ok, it was completely, utterly heartbreaking. All these things were happening and you keep thinking "he'll be okay. He won't die. HEA right?" but I'm spoiling this now: it's not a Happy Ever After ending no matter how much you want it to. It was just inevitable but somehow you ignore the oncoming tragedy with the romance, the friendship, and all things inbetween. But when it does happen, it strikes you completely unaware, even when you know it's happening in the next chapter. It's this dreaded feeling that builds up in you and when it happens...agh! A book filled with second chances, I loveloveloved it!

Second Chance Summer seemed more like an insanely descriptive diary rather than a book, and that's a good thing. Actions seemed so real, not far-fetched. Reactions were probable and the characters reminded me of what my friends would've done if I had slighted them like that. Characters seemed real. I haven't read Matson's debut, but you can bet I will after reading Second Chance Summer!

As sad as it is, Second Chance Summer is definitely a great Summer-ends read. Not one you want to read at the beginning of summer, but definitely one that will end your summer with a bang. Seriously guys. Y'all have to read this!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I waited for Second Chance Summer for two years. Right after I finished Amy & Roger's Epic Detour (still one of my favorite books) I looked for Morgan Matson's newest. Anticipation? I was full of it. When I got home from work on May 8 and retrieved the book from my porch, the first thing I did was hug it. Then I posted a picture of it on Twitter and marveled at the beautiful cover.

From the first page, I knew Second Chance Summer would be a book that I loved. Matson's writing style is so poetic, so beautiful. I would read 50 pages and make myself stop, trying to make the book last longer. Finally after doing that a few times I gave up, reading for hours, thankful that the book was nearly 500 pages long.

Taylor is back at her beach house after not being there for several years in a row. Her father has cancer and wants them to spend a summer there like they used to do. When she arrives, we learn that the last summer she was here, things didn't exactly go smoothly.

As Taylor tries to piece together what she left at the beach when she was 12, she is also trying to deal with her family and the drastic changes that will be happening. Instead of feeling pity for the characters, I was enveloped in how real it all felt, rooting for them to find peace and resolution.

I don't often cry while reading, and the end of this book hit me very hard, hard enough that I couldn't read through my tears. This is a direct attestation to how well Morgan Matson built up the story and how well developed her characters were.

Now I begin my two year wait for her next book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Talk about serendipity: a couple years ago up in the Teen section at our local library, waiting for my seven year-old son to stock up on Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic in One Volume, I saw Morgan Matson's first book, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour on the go-back cart. The title reminded me of Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (a book which I'd loved) so I picked it up. At the time I wasn't doing much YA / NA reading (boy have things changed), but wow was Amy & Roger's just fantastic.

When I saw she'd come out with Second Chance Summer I immediately clicked "buy," *barely* checking the price (but of course I did) and yeah, loved it. Continue to love the author's imagination, her research, her thorough fleshing out of characters, her writing style, how clever she clearly is.

I am a nitpicker (almost) nonpareil, and I am one of those who gets really ticked off by errors in books, and in my reviews I am never shy about calling an author out for it. If I am expected to spend time and money on a book then I expect the author to do likewise.

Well, how much I loved Second Chance Summer is that the few errors I found didn't even tick me off! For me that's saying something. That's saying how marvelous the story is, how much I wanted to stay in the story, inside Taylor's head and her summer.
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Format: Hardcover
Taylor has a habit of running away from her problems. That's what she did at her family's lake house the summer she was twelve, and five years later she still has no desire to return. But this summer is different; her dad is dying, and her family has only one summer left together. Once back at the lake house, Taylor is surprised to find how much things have changed. As her family struggles to reconnect before it's too late, Taylor is also forced to face her childhood friendships and mistakes...and this time there's no running away.

Morgan Matson's second novel is a heartbreaker. Matson has created the perfect summer setting in Lake Phoenix; it's idyllic and charming and full of so many important memories for Taylor. It's the perfect place for her to really face her fears and learn how to deal with her relationships; the ones she has with her siblings, with her childhood best friend, Lucy, and with Henry, her first boyfriend and long-time friend. But the most important relationship in this book is the one that Taylor has with her father. Taylor not only has to deal with his illness and impending death, but how she expresses her feelings for him, and her anxieties that he doesn't know how much she cares. Throughout the summer, she makes incredible strides in how she handles her stress, deals with being a runner, and learns not to back out when relationships get hard or messy. The pacing is beautifully done with a nice balance between the present and various flashbacks and memories throughout Taylor's life. The characters are all fully formed and a lot of fun. Although heart-rending and highly emotional, Second Chance Summer is an incredible, entertaining, and funny novel that will not disappoint fans of Matson's first novel.
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