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The Second Chance Year by Melissa Wiesner
Romance

The Second Chance Year

by Melissa Wiesner

Excellent choice

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Quick take

With her life in free fall, a young woman wishes for a redo year...and wakes to find to her surprise the wish granted.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical

    Magical

Synopsis

Sadie Thatcher’s life has fallen apart in spectacular fashion. In one fell swoop, she managed to lose her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend—all thanks to her big mouth. So when a fortune teller offers her one wish, Sadie jumps at the chance to redo her awful year. Deep down, she doesn’t believe magic will fix her life, but taking a leap of faith, Sadie makes her wish, opens her eyes, and . . . nothing has changed. And then, in perhaps her dumbest move yet, she kisses her brother’s best friend, Jacob.

When Sadie wakes up the next morning, she’s in her former apartment with her former boyfriend, and her former boss is expecting her at work. Checking the date, she realizes it’s January 1 . . . of last year. As Sadie navigates her second-chance year, she begins to see the red flags she missed in her relationship and in her career. Plus, she keeps running into Jacob, and she can’t stop thinking about their kiss . . . the one he has no idea ever happened. Suddenly, Sadie begins to wonder if her only mistake was wishing for a second chance.

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Content warning

This book contains scenes that depict sexual assault.

Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Second Chance Year.
The Second Chance Year

Chapter 1

December

If the last year of my life were a season of the Great British Bake Off, I would’ve been sent home on the first episode. My performance in the signature challenge would’ve left the judges shaking their heads, my technical bake would’ve ended up raw in the middle, and my showstopper would’ve collapsed in a heap of gingerbread and shame.

So, when New Year’s Eve of my Very Bad Year rolls around, all I want to do is sit on the couch with a bowl of buttercream icing in my lap and an episode of The Golden Girls on TV. But my best friend, Kasumi, has other plans.

“Come on, Sadie, it will be fun.”

I peer at Kasumi from beneath the ball cap I’ve been wearing because I haven’t washed my hair in three days. “Nothing that starts with ‘come on, it will be fun’ is ever fun.”

“This will be, I promise.” She snatches the plaid blanket I’ve wrapped around myself like a fluffy layer of fondant and throws it on the chair where I can’t reach it.

“Hey,” I protest, half-heartedly making a grab for it. Kasumi is just jealous because that blanket is my new best friend. We’ve been hanging out almost exclusively for months. We were going to paint each other’s nails and have a pillow fight later.

Kasumi plops down on the other end of the couch. “My friend Devon rented an empty warehouse that he’s turning into a giant New Year’s Eve carnival. Picture acrobats hanging from the ceiling, magicians sawing people in half, and cotton candy cocktails. It will be epic.”

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Why I love it

If you had the chance to redo a Very Bad Year of your life, would you take it? The Second Chance Year explores this question through the lens of self-rediscovery, hope, and love.

On New Year’s Eve after a disastrous year that Sadie attributes to being too outspoken, she wishes nothing more than to do it all over again. When a fortune teller grants her this wish, Sadie wakes up the next morning on January 1st—of last year!—in her former apartment with her ex-boyfriend and still employed as a pastry chef. The most complicated part about going back in time? Sadie having kissed her brother’s best friend, Jacob, on New Year’s Eve, but him not remembering any of it. Now, Sadie can’t stop thinking about the kiss. Or the sweet and considerate Jacob, who she’s starting to see through new eyes.

As Sadie lives her second-chance year, she’s confronted with the truth about her relationships, her career, and herself. This time around, everything hits different. What results is an empowering, feel-good journey filled with endearing characters, lovable found family, delicious desserts, and a swoon-worthy, slow-burn romance—all sprinkled with a dash of magic.

The Second Chance Year beautifully captures how sometimes we need another look at what it is we really want in our lives and who we really want to be. This book made my heart burst like New Year’s Eve fireworks. I just know it’ll do the same to yours!

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Member ratings (2,068)

  • Jennifer D.

    New Market, MD

    I loved this book! The first lines sucked me in and didn’t let up. I loved that Sadie learned so much about herself and her wants in her do over year. I wanted to hang out in the cafe. And JACOB❤️❤️❤️

  • R T.

    Henrico, VA

    I have always wondered how different my life might be if I’d made different choices. Would things be better, worse, or the same? Sadie’s second chance year explores that & does not disappoint! Loved❤️

  • Amy C.

    Somerville, MA

    Yes it’s a romcom w/ a familiar movie trope as a set up…but it’s also a page turner (read in a single day, appropriately - Dec. 30) and left me with a lot to think about in terms of resolving the past

  • Leslie D.

    Springfield , VA

    I finished this book in about 2 days. It’s an easy read, but absolutely adorable. The characters are sweet and the love story is even sweeter. If you’re looking for a feel good New Years read, read it

  • Alexandria P.

    Cambridge, OH

    I loved that Jacob is painfully shy. I adored him and the fact that we don’t see that type of character often. I really enjoyed Sadie learning about herself and what she deserves throughout this book

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