cover image Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer

Morgan Matson. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9067-3

Seventeen-year-old Taylor and her family%E2%80%94her mother, father, older brother, and younger sister%E2%80%94are off to the Poconos for the summer, whether everyone wants to or not. Taylor falls in the latter category. Returning to their lake house after a five-year absence fills her with dread: she'll have to face her estranged best friend as well as the boy she left without saying goodbye. But hardest of all, her father is dying of cancer, making this their last summer together. Matson (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour) writes subtly about complex family dynamics, grief, and the impending loss of a parent in a way that is both beautiful and true, while steering clear of melodrama. Matson's story, which shifts between the present and flashbacks from five previous summers, is as much about loss as it is about first love and friendship. Readers who love the work of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han will feel intensely for this cast of vulnerable characters who demonstrate integrity, personality, and perseverance as they work to bridge the distances between them. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (May)