Second Chance Summer
Simon & Schuster, 2012
Whew. This book ... I don't normally cry over books or movies. If anything, I may have to blink rapidly a few times, and call it "touching." Every now and then, something comes along and makes me cry my eyes out. Like Pegasus and Spoken from the Heart (reliving 9/11 through Laura Bush's eyes? wowzers). I can now add Second Chance Summer to that list.
Taylor's family has been given a deadline. A horrible, heartbreaking deadline. One that changes all their plans, and sends them back to the lake house in the Poconos - for one last summer. Everyone knows it is a summer of "goodbye", but for Taylor, maybe - just maybe - it will also become the summer of second chances. Taylor hasn't been to the lake in five years, not since that summer when things ended so badly, and finding herself back in the place where she knew the most happiness and love, at such a painful time, is rough. But as the summer begins to settle into a routine, Taylor finds that your past doesn't have to dictate your future. Soon, she finds herself actually enjoying this last summer. Until reality slams back into focus, and she finds old habits die hard. Running away from things is the easiest and safest response, she thinks. But as things play out, and the inevitable end arrives, Taylor discovers a new reality, a new mindset: one that says things like Love are worth fighting for. That being scared isn't something to run away from. That sometimes you have to rely on other people's strength, when yours is failing. Life is full of second chances.
This book ... First, I should point out the cover is gorgeous. You can't tell in that image, but the title is silvery-shimmery, and it's just beautiful. As for the story itself: it's real. It's raw. It hit so very, very close to home. The summer I turned seventeen was also a last summer - the last summer with my granddaddy. Only we didn't know it at the time. He was checked into the hospital on my birthday, and a little under five months later, I said goodbye. So yeah. I bawled my eyes out reading this, because I know the feelings, the fears, the pains. Second Chance Summer is a beautifully written account of a journey that I hope most of us don't have to endure (especially at seventeen), but that all of us can relate to on some plane. We've all experienced heartaches and mistakes, wanting second chances and for things to not end/change/start. A moving, powerful, beautiful-even-if-it-made-my-heart-hurt story that is just the right balance to summer "fluff" while still being distinctly summery. Wow. Just wow.
Book provided by my local library.