The Second Chance Year by Melissa Wiesner
Narrated by Helen Laser
Standalone, Women’s Fiction with Romance
I picked up The Second Chance Year by Melissa Wiesner from NetGalley for an honest review. I thought it was a New Year’s romcom and it leaned more towards women’s fiction with some romance, which is honestly what I’ve been enjoying more lately.
Sadie is a hot mess. She’s a pastry chef who lost her prestigious job, her successful boyfriend, and her apartment in the last year. Now she is staying at her brother’s best friend’s place because she has nowhere else to go. She and Jacob have known each other for years but never really spoke much, now she’s on his couch, eating Nutella from a jar and feeling sorry for herself.
When her best friend talks her into going to a circus-themed New Year’s party instead of wallowing, she meets a fortune teller who asks what she wishes for. She wished to go back to the beginning of the Very Bad Year and do it differently, knowing she wouldn’t make the same mistakes again. When she got home that night, however, she had a pretty intense moment with Jacob. Maybe there is something there after all?
Until BAM-she wakes up on New Year’s Day in her ex-boyfriend’s bed and realizes her silly wish has come true! Here was her second chance to do the year right—keep the job, the boyfriend, and the apartment, she just had to go back to never even talking to Jacob, because they had barely talked in this timeline.
In this do-over, Sadie thought if she stopped speaking out, and just toed the line, everything would be better. Only it just caused other problems.
“I thought if only I could tone myself down and smooth out all the rough edges, I’d land the perfect job, the perfect guy, and finally, my parents’ acceptance. But it turns out that in pursuit of those things, I twisted myself into someone I don’t recognize.”
There was so much character growth in The Second Chance Year, and it covered a lot of issues like sexual harassment, equal pay, misogyny, parental relationships, friendship, and love. It was also about accepting and loving yourself.
If you are into baking you will love this book if not just for the amount of baking puns!
- I love the way the whole concept of a time loop was portrayed in this story.
- The character growth.
- It was paced well.
- Villains you love to hate.
- Kept me invested in the story the whole way through, I didn’t want to take a break.
- The found family at the coffee shop.
- The cat.
- I wish there was more romance. The chemistry between Sadie and Jacob took a while to heat up.
- She was back with the ex for too long.
- I would have liked her best friend to be there for her more.
- Too many baking puns
This is my first Helen Laser book and I think she was fantastic. I hope to hear a lot more from her, as she absolutely enhanced the book with her narration.