I immediately connected with Taylor's voice. I had such sympathy for what was going on with her dad, because it was made clear her sadness, and just the feeling of not knowing what to do in that sort of circumstance. I also related with her on her wanting to run away, or try to avoid a problem because that was my form of dealing when I was in high school as well. I appreciated the value placed on family in Second Chance Summer. There is enough bickering between the siblings to make it realistic, and the parents are just the right amount of annoying at the right times. But you could plainly see that everyone cares for one another. And I like how she identifies what type of family they are--not touchy feeley in the physical aspect, so she valued hugs even more than someone who gets one just to say good afternoon. But I appreciated how close they got, and how much they learned about one another, and I think that it is so sad that a lot of families have to have tragedies hit in order to really connect and lean on your family. The mystery of what exactly happened between Taylor, Henry and Lucy had me captivated. I knew that something went down, and then she was away from the summer lake house for quite some time. When she returned she is put face to face with Henry in awkward situations, and I loved the tension that was there. Yes, there was anger and hurt, but there was also caring buried in there somewhere. The scenes where her father is in pain, or they are worrying, and trying to find the balance of fulfilling his wish they have a "normal summer" and trying to get in time with him all tug on my heart. Ms. Matson writes emotion so vividly and I did not want to put the book down. I wanted to keep reading about what the characters are doing, feeling, and how they are growing and changing as a result of this summer, where she realizes maybe there can be a second chance for love and friendship, but on some things there just can't be any more that can be done. Henry in this book is so sweet, understanding and crushworthy. Especially when what happened summers ago is revealed. I won't say a lot about him except I really enjoyed reading his character. Another secondary character that I adored was Taylor's brother Warren. He is so nerdy and intelligent except when it comes to social matters, and it is fun watching him fumble around in that aspect as well. The ending was so sad, but I appreciated how hope was woven in. Taylor grew so much, but it was hard because of what it took and the pain that she went through in order for the change to come about.Bottom Line: All the elements of a perfect summer read with heartbreak on the side.