Sunday, 3 June 2018

Review - The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please

The Summer of Second Chances is the debut novel by Maddie Please and it was one that I absolutely adored. With a gorgeous cover and a beautiful story, The Summer of Second Chances was an uplifting, feel-good read that was so very easy to become immersed in. At a time when I needed it most, this book was the perfect distraction from daily life and was one that really did leave me with a huge smile on my face. 

Within the Summer of Second Chances we meet Lottie who has very recently experienced a very traumatic and difficult time which resulted in her losing everything - her home, her relationship and her money. Desperately in need of somewhere to live, her best friend Jess offers her a roof over her head in the form of a cottage in Devon which Lottie agrees to redecorate in exchange for free rent. Whilst Lottie cannot forget the past, after settling into the cottage she quickly gets to work on it with the frequent help of the handsome neighbour Bryn, but after everything she’s been through will she allow herself a second chance? Will she ever learn to live and love again? 

Maddie Please has created a marvellous character within Lottie whose journey was an absolute pleasure to follow from beginning to end. As someone whose world was falling apart when we were first introduced to her, Lottie was a character who I had a great deal of empathy for and was one who I loved from the start. As I couldn’t bear to be parted from Lottie’s story, I desperately hoped that things would turn out well for her, that she would get to where she wanted to be in life and have the happiness she so desperately deserved. All of the characters that surrounded Lottie were equally as marvellous, including Bryn whose relationship with Lottie was so lovely to see develop and grow. 

The Summer of Second Chances was a book that was so wonderfully written and whilst it was mainly light-hearted Maddie has also included a number of deeper and darker themes within it, handling them in a wonderful manner with much sensitivity and tact. One thing that I particularly loved about the way this book was written was the way in which it switched seamlessly between the past and the present, something which allowed the reader to see the bigger picture. I also adored the way in which this book reinforced an important life lesson about not letting the bad things in life hold us back or prevent us from moving forwards and achieving our dreams. 

All in all The Summer of Second Chances was a gorgeous little book that really did feel like a ray of sunshine on a rainy day. It was a fabulous debut novel and one that has left me feeling really excited to go on and discover more of what Maddie writes in the future. She’s definitely an author to look out for!