Published: May 8th, 2012 by Simon and Schuster
From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak.Okay, I have to say it: I like The Unexpected Everything better. I really love the setting of Second Chance Summer (BEACHES. LAKES. SUMMER. YAY.) but I enjoyed the overall content of The Unexpected Everything better, though I might be slightly biased by the dogs. I still haven't read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour or Since You've Been Gone, but I'LL GET THERE EVENTUALLY.
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.
Everyone always talks about how you should buy a box of tissues when you buy this book. And the blurb indicates that, too. But the thing is? I barely cried. Yes, watching Taylor lose her father was painful. Watching him waste away. I can't even imagine what that's like. And the emotion certainly came across. But I am a crier. Look it up in the dictionary and you'll find my picture. I can pretty much cry about anything at any time. Emmy & Oliver, a relatively cute contemporary, made me cry. I sobbed like a baby at the acknowledgements in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. If it's even remotely sad, I CRY. But I didn't cry until the very end of Second Chance Summer, and even then, there weren't a whole lot of tears.
I just wanted more, I guess. I think the emotion could have come across more, could have moved me more, I guess. Or maybe I am becoming a dark and emotionless zombie? Honestly, I think that's the more likely scenario.
The only other complaint I have is that Henry and Lucy are holding this huge grudge for something that HAPPENED WHEN THEY WERE 12. And it's not like Taylor killed somebody's dog. She left without saying goodbye, sure. But the icy way they treat her for it, five years later? I just found that so ridiculous.
Okay. Moving on.
|Moodboards are great because I get to waste an afternoon on Pinterest and call it productive.|
I loved the movie nights. I'm pretty amazed at the way she powered through her job, though. It says often that the day moves slow and she's basically painfully watching the clock, which I totally understand, but whenever I work food service I complain non-stop, even when I'm working with people I like. I'm sure everyone would like me better if I was more like Taylor and just silently watched the clock.
The romance was sweet and I liked how supportive Henry and Taylor were of each other. I was kind of upset when they kissed after having maybe two REAL conversations after meeting again, but it's fiction so I moved on.
tl;dr: The family dynamics and struggles were really the highlight of Second Chance Summer. It highlighted how even in tragedy, life goes on, and although I didn't really get the sheer amount of emotion I was expecting, I really enjoyed this contemporary. 4 stars.