[BOOK REVIEW] Second Chance Summer by: Morgan Matson

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“The thing is that people only get hurt-really hurt- when they’re trying to play it safe. That’s when people get injured, when they pull back at the last second because they’re scared. They hurt themselves and other people.”

First and foremost, I think it is only fair to say that, unlike the other books that I have read, I have finished reading Second Chance Summer in a month (yes, in a month, not like my usual which is 2 days to a week). I have to blame my work schedule for that. Hehe. Just kidding :P But nevertheless, I am dedicating a full-paged blog just for this one. Second Chance Summer is so good, that my usual Instagram review won’t just cut it. It deserves more than just that. So let’s get on with the book, shall we?

Second Chance Summer is divided into six (6) parts: The Lake House, Metamorphosis, Lost & Found, Truth and Daring, The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship, and The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. What I liked about the story is that it has a separate chapter for the present happenings and another separate chapter for the flashbacks. It goes back and forth the present and past which leaves you hanging with, “what the hell happened?!”. I wouldn’t want to add any spoilers, because I personally don’t like spoilers. But just for the record, Taylor is the type of person who tends to run away when things get hard. Thus, the result of Taylor’s actions caused a ripple effect in the future with her relationship with the most important people in her life. Second Chance Summer tackles about friendship, boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and family. It is not your usual lovey dovey summer read. It is deeper than that.

Sometimes we have this innate part in us that we sub consciously build up walls or walk away from things that we know will hurt us, not knowing that part of what we are walking away from are those loved ones we are leaving behind. Because why not just leave? It is the easier way out and we always fantasize about the thought of “easy”. I guess I relate to Taylor in that way. I am not afraid to love. In fact, I have a big heart for those who deserve my love and once there is love, trust follows. But I am more scared of giving someone a lot of me that in the end I will just get hurt and lose myself in the process. That fear makes me push people close to me away. Because like I said, it is easier that way. When you leave early, the pain that you feel is easier to cover up. Much more with family and friendship trouble, going far away seems like the likelier option than staying.

But Second Chance Summer tells us otherwise. It teaches us that when you don’t face your problems straight on, when you run away from things that scare you, in the end you are still left with nothing. Voicing out what you’re afraid of, what you’re feeling; by opening yourself up to the good and bad and by giving that person a chance to hold you tight when seas get rough, it makes you stronger. It gives you something to learn from and to hold on to. Accepting that life is not so smooth and that there will be a lot of rocky roads ahead, can even build tougher-to-break bonds between you and people involved.

Death is inevitable. But it’s scary. Especially the death of a loved one. The thought of death and not knowing just until when you will be with that person makes every day special. You would always want to make every day count, get to know that person to a more personal level and just be the best for him/her. Because when the day comes, you would want only positive and happy memories of you and that person to remain.

Second chances are not for everyone. But with love, it can be. Sometimes even with the people we hurt the most, all it takes for a second chance is a simple and genuine sorry. But at times, if not most, this sorry can take up a lot of years causing a big gap between you and that person. With love, care and understanding, no matter how big that gap is, you can instantly fill all those up in just a few days. All it takes is a genuine gesture of apology.

Second Chance Summer is not the type of book that will fill in your fantasies of a “perfect life”, or a “perfect person”, or even what we now call as “relationship goals”. No. This book is all about reality; what happens everyday. So if you need a hard knocking into that life of yours, this book is a must-read. It woke me up. It will definitely wake you up too. Sometimes all it takes for us to wake up to the harsh reality of life is a dying loved one, or a good book like Second Chance Summer ;)

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Paalam! :) 

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