Monday, November 12, 2012

Nik reviews: SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Morgan Matson

 Second Chance Summer
Morgan Matson


Taylor Edward’s 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 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, with love.
I was thinking for weeks which book I wanted to have a first review on my blog. I have a ridiculous long list of favourite books to choose from (really, like I don’t know how to rank them anymore). For my first review post, I wanted something that I can truly relate with; something that hit me so close to home. And when I read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, I knew that this was it.

I didn’t choose this book as one of my favourites because of the love story (I’m a girl and yes I am entitled to prefer a book just because the male protagonist is hot. Yeah?). No, I didn’t relate with the cheesy love and friends part (and I will not be talking about those sorry). I am able to relate with Taylor’s father’s sickness, cancer. The only difference is that, I lost my grandfather to prostate cancer. And one thing that’s common with Taylor’s father and my Lolo (Filipino term for grandfather) is that they were both strong person. They both never complained for the bone-piercing pain. They chose to be strong despite their frail bodies, all for the sake of their families.

This is actually the first fiction book I’ve read that really describes how a person succumbs to this life-claiming disease. From looking healthy one moment, to looking dry the next. This book pained me, made my tears flow nonstop while I was reading it, all the while remembering my Lolo. I grew up around him, the gentle giant to his grand children, and finding out about his sickness broke our family’s heart. We were able to spend 17 months with him after we found out, unlike Taylor who had only 3 months with her father. You know how people always say, spend the most out of the remaining time? How people should actually be grateful that at least they got a chance to spend time before a person disappears from their lives forever? I don’t know, but for me I don’t believe that there is such thing as enough time. All the time in the world is not enough when you know that a person you treasure is leaving you any minute. There’s just not enough time when you see that a person you love is getting weaker and weaker by the moment. How can you spend time talking to them when all you can do is choke because you’re trying to hold back the tears? You want them to be truly happy but how can you make them happy when all those while your heart is shattering? How do you pretend that everything’s fine just to make them feel better when the truth is written all over your face?

This book is wonderfully written that even if you haven’t gone through the same situation, it will still make you cry and realize that you should spend time with the people that truly matters to you. We don’t have the capability to hold time in our hands. We don’t get the chance to know when our time is up. So let’s just not waste our time around people who don’t care. Let’s spend every precious second we can with those people that make our lives worth living.

Will I recommend this book? Yes.

Will I read it more than once? Probably not. Why? Because I can’t let my heart be broken every time I read this story. Just by remembering my heart automatically bleeds. So no, once is enough to open the wounds.

This one’s for you, Lolo. It’s been two years. I feel that I’ve moved on but I still miss you every time.