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Brooke's Pick: The Second Chance Year by Melissa Wiesner

When her wish to redo her awful year comes true, Sadie Thatcher, with her life in shambles, navigates her second chance, seeing the red flags she missed in both her relationship and career while harboring a secret crush on her brother’s best friend.

I decided to start off 2024 reading Melissa Wiesner's The Second Chance Year, and I am so glad that I did! This insightful, yet engaging story about a young woman who makes a wish on New Year's Eve for a "re-do" of the past 12 months of her life was the perfect novel to kick off the year.


Sadie Thatcher has had a very bad year. She lost her job, boyfriend, and apartment, and has found herself crashing on her brother's best friend's sofa. Wallowing in self-pity and regretting every life decision she has ever made, Sadie is in a very bad place. When her best friend Kasumi convinces her to come out to a New Year's Eve party, Sadie protests, but then relents ... and it is there that she meets the fortune teller who will change everything. Sadie makes a wish, desperately pleading with the universe to allow her to redo the last year of her life. As it turns out, wishes really do come true ...


Sadie awakes on January 1 to discover she is back in her old apartment, sleeping next to her old boyfriend, and very late for work at her old job. Is it really possible that Sadie is back reliving the first day of her very bad year? Determined to do things right this time, Sadie, who remembers everything about her terrible year, sets out to change the course of her future, censoring herself in conversations and avoiding situations that she knows landed her in hot water last time. But as time goes on, Sadie can't help but ask if she is being true to herself, and is this new life really so much better than her old one?


I love it when I can share that I did not spend one minute bored reading a book! Wiesner writes in an engaging style and moves her story along at a steady, even pace. Despite Sadie reliving the past year of her life, all of the events of said year are new to the reader, so this time loop novel never became stale or stagnant. Furthermore, Wiesner's characters feel like real, vibrant people, making it easy to root for them while getting lost in this spirited read.


I can't recommend starting off a new year reading The Second Chance Year enough! This novel gives off just the right vibes for January - a time when everyone is making (and breaking) resolutions and reflecting on their place in life and the universe. Tinged with just the right blend of introspection and intrigue, The Second Chance Year is quite the compelling, yet thought-provoking novel ... and I loved every minute of it! - Brooke, Public Relations Librarian


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