SERIES: Stand Alone
AUTHOR: Morgan Matson
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: May 7th 2013 by Simon & Schuster for Young Readers
EDITION: Paperback, 468 pages
CATEGORIES: Review, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Friendship, Family, Death, Loss, Four Star Rating, Morgan Matson, Second Chance Summer
GOODREADS RATING: 4.13/5.00
ADD TO GOODREADS
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.
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.
MY THOUGHTS: Rarely will I ever pick up a book that deals with the C-word... Cancer. It's a topic way too close to home for me, as I know it is for many people. I like my stories upbeat and happy, but this one just called out to me and I decided to go ahead and read it.
What I liked about the book, is that there was equal parts fluff and heavy stuff. Even though it's technically a beachy summer read, I needed a break from the doldrums of this snowy, cold winter and joined Taylor Edwards and her family on their vacation in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
I really liked the growth in Taylor's character throughout the book - even though there were moments where she drove me crazy! She was likeable enough, but she just annoyed me at times. Throughout the beginning of the book, we learn that something happened between Taylor and her first boyfriend, Henry, and best friend, Lucy. I spent all this time thinking, oh man! What could she have done to make them hate her this much? And then when I found out I was like, oh. That's it? So I think that was a little let down.
Another enjoyable aspect of the book is watching the Edwards family come together and change into something they never had been before. They all rally around Mr. Edwards to give him the best last few months of his life, and learn things about each other that they had never known before. Out of grief comes a sense of togetherness.
The friendship between Taylor and Lucy was fun to read about, and once they talk again they are able to pick up right where they'd left off all those years ago. The relationship between Henry and Taylor is sweet and endearing. They truly make a great, cute couple but I definitely think Warren and Wendy getting together is even sweeter!
Overall, if you're looking for a quick, cute summer (or a break from winter) read, I'd recommend this one at will.
SIMILAR READS: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker | In Honor by Jessi Kirby | The Story of Us by Deb Caletti | Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy | Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams | Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf | Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti | Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole | First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky