Tuesday, December 18, 2012

REVIEW: Second Chance Summer

Book: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Release Date: Published May 8th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages:  468 Pages
Source: Library Copy

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.
  The Romance:
1     2     3     4     5

This scale is different than most. 1 means that there is no romance at all. 5 means this book was a very, very romantic based book. A 3 will be the most common, as YA books surround another plot while dealing with romance too. Below are my thoughts on the romance.

Like most aspects of this book, the romance was average. It could be bordering between fantastic or a little above average, depending on who you are. However, for me, it was okay. I didn't hate on the romance; Henry was actually okay. It was just we didn't really get to know him. He was a slightly undeveloped character who seemed really bitter in the beginning.

But in the end, he was understanding and grew to be a more likeable person. His chemistry with Taylor didn't actually seem like anything special to me, but it did work out between them.

In other words, the romance was average but okay.

The Action/ The Adventure:
1     2     3     4     5
The action scale is pretty obvious and it is just like the romance scale. 1 means there was no action. 5 means there was a lot of action. Whether or not the action was good, I'll tell you below.

There wasn't a lot of action/adventure. For a contemporary book, this could be normal, but the speed of this book was also really slow (see the speed section underneath).

Some things in this book was entertaining; however, there was a lot of unneccesary stuff. Most of it interested me though. I enjoyed the parts about Taylor and her dad spending time together. I also liked the way Taylor's friendship with Lucy healed.

But in a way, there wasn't really that intense-omg-what-will-happen-next action. If you're someone who really likes slow, background information providing and calm books, I think you'll like Second Chance Summer though. But to warn you: there are some increasingly sad parts in this book. So don't expect it to be too calm.

The Speed:
1     2     3     4     5
The speed scale tells how fast the story goes. For example, if the introduction is boring and the whole book is going at snail pace, it'll probably be a ranking of 1.

This book was slow. But not neccesarily in a bad way. For people who have a short attention span, then yes, this book will be slightly boring. But for me, the most part, I could tell it was slow, yet I thought it was okay at the same time.

Things happened in a pretty neat tidy order and I could see Taylor's character developement as the story progresses.

The Plot/ The Perspective/ The Storytelling:
1     2     3    3.5     4     5
This isn't based on how much action shows up as the book progresses. It is based on the quality of the plot. Sometimes the plot is just unentertaining while others are the on-the-end-of-your-seat suspenseful. This is probably the scale that you should pay the most attention to.

Taylor takes some time to get used to. In the beginning, she was this girl who always ran away from her troubles. In the end, she was a stronger person who grew from her experiences. So before you read this book and complain about how she is in the beginning, she gets a lot better, I promise.

I liked her a lot, even though there were some parts of the storytelling that fell flat just a bit. I didn't think it was a big problem, because overall, the plot was great. There was something so serene and beautiful this book that made me want to hug Taylor's family.

The End:
1     2     3     4     5
This is going to be a limited scale as I don't want to spoil the ending. I promise I won't reveal any secrets, but if you want it to be a complete surprise,  STOP READING.

To be honest, the ending killed me. I'll try not to spoil much but it did get tears in my eyes. It was the type of ending that you get in real life, but that didn't stop my sympathy.

This ending will move your heart.

The Summary:

The Good Points:

Second Chance Summer has a bittersweet tone to the writing. It fits in perfectly with Taylor and her family, which was the main focus of this story. I loved how Taylor's personality grew as the story progresses. Her relationship with her dad was very realistic and I could tell how much his cancer affected their family.

Taylor's family is by far, not the most perfect family there is. Yet there's that warm feeling to them that allows everyone to connect with each other. Warren and his obsession with weird historical facts. Gelsey and her love for ballet.

I really enjoyed this family story.

The Bad Points:

Henry was slightly undeveloped and there was no chemistry in his relationship with Taylor. I know they dated when they were twelve though, but they just seem more of "good friends" than anything else.

However, like I mentioned before, it wasn't like bad or anything. It was just average. And ordinary.

The second problem for some people could be the speed. It was slow, though it turned out okay for me. It just depends on who you are.

Overall Thoughts:

Pros ---

- Taylor's family
- Taylor's character development
-  The realistic ending that will produce lots of tears and kill you through sadness

Cons ---

- Speed (for some people)
- Taylor's personality in the beginning
- Henry (for some people)

Final Rank: 

1     2     3   3.5     4     5
This book was a little above average (an average for me is a three). There were good things about it, yet there could be some flaws that stick out to you. It's one of those books where you either love it so so so much, or find it to be a little under average. Everyone's opinions on this might differ, but I liked the ending the most. It really got to the depths of my heart and even though it was sad, I understood why it happened. However, if you hate slow books, you might not like this one.


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