Review: Second Chance Friends by Jennifer Scott

I have for you today a story about unexpected friendships, Jennifer Scott’s Second Chance Friends. First up is a guest post on accidental connections, then read on for my thoughts!

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Paying Attention to Accidental Connections

by Jennifer Scott

In my latest novel, SECOND CHANCE FRIENDS, Karen, Melinda, and Joanna are each at a diner on the day a bus loses control and crashes into the car of newlywed couple, Michael and Maddie Routh. The women do not know each other, and each is there to heal her own heart. Karen is drinking coffee and wondering what to do about her troubled adult son. Melinda is downing an impossibly huge breakfast to drown out her guilt over her duplicitous morning routine. And Joanna is hiding from the world.

But each woman’s life is changed that day, as they try to help the injured young couple on the lawn of the diner.

They don’t know it at the time, but their lives have intertwined.

It’s only after an accidental second meeting at the diner that they realize that, while they may appear to be three very different women, they have many things in common, not the least of which is that they now have a common goal: to help Maddie Routh put the pieces of her life back together.

I’ve always been fascinated with connections. When, how, and why we connect. Chance meetings that turn out to be serendipitous. Perfect matches that end up being anything but perfect. Déjà vu that starts a lifelong conversation. Acts of kindness that bump lives into different, better paths.

Connection is so important. If we aren’t going to connect, then what are we here for, exactly? If we aren’t to make a difference, then what’s the point?

But connection is also hard. It requires understanding. Vulnerability. Patience. Work. And work isn’t always necessarily fun.

Ultimately, Karen, Melinda, and Joanna are glad they put in that work and cultivated that understanding and allowed that vulnerability and exercised that patience. They’ve become important in each other’s lives in ways they could have never imagined. But they had to be open to that accidental connection first. They had to see an opportunity and walk toward it. They had to be aware of ways they could impact the lives of others through connection.

I think that’s what we all have to do, really, if we are to make a difference in this world.

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Review: Second Chance Friends by Jennifer ScottSecond Chance Friends by Jennifer Scott
Published by Penguin Books on May 5th 2015
ISBN: 9780451473233
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 318
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

Karen, Melinda, and Joanna have never met until the morning they witness an accident outside a local diner—and rush to help.

As a single mom whose sweet-faced boy has become a misguided young man, Karen immediately sets aside her own concerns and moves into action. Emergency first responder Melinda also calmly steps up to the plate, as she does every day; no one would ever suspect the insecurity that threatens her marriage to the man she loves. And blond, beautiful, bohemian Joanna is hiding—from her friends, her family, and, most important, herself. Yet she’s first on the scene.

The accident leaves another, mother to be, Maddie, crushed by grief. But rather than retreat, Karen, Melinda, and Joanna open their arms and hearts. During the next nine months they’ll return to the diner over and over. They’ll come to find Maddie. They’ll end up finding themselves—learning what it means to be a mother, lover, wife, and friend. By reaching out and holding on, these four women will unite to show us life can be transformed at the most surprising moments.

Purchase at IndieBound | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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drey’s thoughts:

The Plot: An accident irreversibly changes the life of four women, who never expected to forge bonds of friendship so strong, over something so tragic. Each of the four have their own problems at home, and each find in another the support and strength to do what they need to, to move forward.

The Characters: Of the four characters, I felt for Maddie most. She’s lost so much, and cannot give it all up as she’d like to. Her struggle is almost painful to watch. But there’s hope for Maddie yet.

Joanna has a secret, one she’s trying to hide from everyone, even herself. I don’t know why, though, and it’s never explained. Karen has a son who’s trouble in all caps, and she can’t help but try to save him – though it never does either of them any good. This time, she thinks, will be the last. And she almost believes she can hold the line, because of her new friends. Then there’s Melinda, who’s seen so much darkness in her job that she cannot imagine introducing new life to this world. But how does she explain that to her husband?

All four women are strong in their own way, all four face trials they cannot imagine sharing. But they eventually do, and it makes them stronger. Trouble shared is trouble halved, or so the saying goes…

The Story: Second Chance Friends is a journey of discovery, and of hope. That these four women find friendship in the ashes of death is impressive, that they allow that friendship to blossom is remarkable. This is a story about the heart that binds us, if we only let ourselves see it.

drey’s rating: Pick it up!

Have you read Second Chance Friends? What did you think?

About Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a national bestselling, award-winning author who made her debut in women’s fiction with The Sister Season. She also writes critically acclaimed young adult fiction under the name Jennifer Brown. Her debut YA novel, HATE LIST (Little, Brown book for Young Readers, 2009) was selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a VOYA Perfect Ten, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Jennifer lives in Liberty, Missouri area, with her husband and three children.