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Her best friend, Megan, keeps telling her to get over him—that it is time to find someone new to date. But Keely isn’t interested in anyone else, at least, not until this cute boy stops them to ask directions. She likes him on sight. He’s so cute, and nice looking. She wonders why he is going to visit her neighbor, Evelyn Jefferson, Mark’s mother.
Jonathan Michael Andrews, III, or Tripp for short, thinks Keely is about the cutest girl he’s ever seen, and wants to get to know her. Tripp’s visit with Evelyn Jefferson goes very well. So well, in fact, that she invites him to spend the summer with her. They share a very special secret, and she wants to get to know him better. Tripp thinks it would be nice for her to have company, she seems lonely, and he also thinks it would be a good way to see Keely.
Keely and Tripp have much in common. She is afraid to get close to another boy, but she ends up dating Tripp anyway. Tripp talks her into going with him to the hospital where he is a volunteer clown. He entertains child heart patients. Initially, Keely is afraid to go, but once she goes, she is glad she did. She thinks Tripp is very special to donate his time there.
The summer is going great for them, until they both find out secrets about the other. Secrets that shouldn’t make a difference, but they do anyway. Will Keely and Tripp learn to forgive and understand each others' lies and secrets? Will they both be mature enough to accept the truth and realize that what they have is special?
SECOND CHANCE AT LOVE describes the pain and heartache teens go through on their path to adulthood. Ms. Schuler puts into words, beautifully, the feelings of growing up and the losses and gains encountered on the way. The characters do not mimic "goody-two-shoes," but are realistic in the attitudes of teens, having real faults and problems. Keely and Tripp are two teens that show true feeling and confusion on their path to adulthood, and the way they solve their problems show real depth of character. Although categorized as a young adult book, this story is one that can hold even an adult reader’s interest—it held mine. Kudos to Ms. Schuler on another terrific book!
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