The Story: Taylor is going in to her senior year of high school. Up until she was 12, her family spent every summer at "the lake". Something happened that summer and Taylor never went back. Until now. The one weakness of the book is that Matson really tries to sell that it was something SHOCKING that happened so I was all agog - What could it be? When will we find out???? But it ended up being fairly predictable. Now the sad part. The reason they are going back to the lake is that Taylor's dad is dying and he wants, for his last summer, to be surrounded by his family. Matson does a beautiful job of presenting this group of high achievers (her brother is a genius, her little sister a ballet prodigy) who never really connected as a family as they come to realize how very lucky they are to have each other. There is a very sweet love story and a bit about Taylor getting her "second chance" from her old friends from when she was younger, before she RUINED EVERYTHING. But the real joy of the story is how Taylor goes from someone who cuts herself off from everyone to a someone who is willing to take a chance on people.
Re-read: I didn't reread it because I read it only 4 months ago and shockingly still remember what I thought and why I loved it so much! And I remember crying like a snotty-faced baby a couple times. I may have had a cold.
Summer Reading Tips:
- This is a great book to read at a lake or at the shore.
- Parts of this are hilarious, but parts are really sad, bring tissues!
- For your project, write the story of what happens the following summer.