Publisher: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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
This was an absolutely beautiful story all about second chances, facing our fears and finding courage when it seems that none can be found. Morgan Matson wrote an incredibly real novel about a young girl, Taylor, and her family dealing with the terminal cancer that her father has, with one last summer.
Spending the summer at their cabin in the Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania for the first time in five years, Taylor finds herself confronted with two very important people who she left behind years ago. What I loved about Taylor was that she wasn’t some crazy brave or out there character. Rather, she was afraid to get hurt and was more used to running away when the going got tough, and when faced with her father dying, Taylor had plenty of opportunities to run. Her growth through this novel was stilted and rocky, but she learned a lot about herself, her father, her family and what it means to stick around when you don’t know how to deal with something.
Matson’s ability to completely draw the reader into the story blew me away. The setting was one of my favourite things about this book, because I could easily picture the beautiful Lake Phoenix, the peacefulness of sitting out on the dock and the stillness of the forest. Matson has a talent with writing a beautiful scene and it was such a big part of this story. She captured feelings and moments beautifully, allowing the reader to experience Taylor’s first love, heartache and fear so perfectly that I had tears running down my face for half the book.
It isn’t all so heartbreaking though. We get to see Taylor rekindle an old friendship, which I really connected to as I just had this same experience. We follow the roller coaster of Taylor’s first love found again, we see her siblings, Gelsey and Warren develop as characters and have firsts as well. And my absolute favourite part of this book was Taylor’s relationship with her Dad. Two mornings a week they would go get breakfast and simply talk. Taylor had always been closer to her father, but watching her really get to know him was so exciting to see, despite the fact that he was dying. It was a beautiful touch to the book.
This story at first glance looks like a fun summer romance, but once delving deeper into it, it touches on tough subjects and is brutally real. Morgan Matson has quickly become on of my favourite writers, and I look forward to everything else she comes out with. I absolutely fell in love with this story and its characters.