The Year of Second Chances

A Novel

by Lara Avery

On Sale: 08/22/2023

The Year of Second Chances

Enlarge Book Cover

The Year of Second Chances

A Novel

by Lara Avery

On Sale: 08/22/2023


About the Book

In this dazzling debut, Lara Avery crafts a story of heart, humor, and hope, as a young widow learns that her late husband signed her up for a dating service before his death, propelling her on an uplifting journey of possibility, second chances, and falling in love again…with life.

Robin Lindstrom spent her first year as a young widow cocooned in the safe haven of the Minnesota farmhouse she’d once shared with Gabe, the love of her life—the man she thought she’d be with ’til the end. But her world is turned upside down when she receives an email informing her that her late husband has enrolled in something called “Fluttr”—a dating service? The app subscription lasts 12 months; use it!, Gabe’s message-from-the-grave reads. I don’t like the thought of you being alone. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it as a favor to me. Please.

After twelve months of pulling herself together, Robin’s fragile equilibrium is knocked sideways. How could Gabe, of all people, be asking her to venture out into the murky waters of 21st century online dating? As her underemployed brother, Theo, points out, it’s “only” a year, and it’s what Gabe wanted; he set this all up to go into effect a year after his death, which means it was basically his last request. And so Robin tentatively takes steps to put herself out into the world once more, even if it means awkward outings at bowling alleys, club-hopping with DJs she meets online, and stammering conversations at dinner. Along the way, she’s surprised to find herself meeting new people, trying new things…and even getting to know a new version of herself. Because everyone deserves a second chance at love—and loving life.

Critical Praise

“Sammie’s narrative voice is sardonic, distinctive, wildly intelligent, and sometimes hilarious...Readers will feel her mind and heart shifting with the illness. Indelible.”  — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on The Memory Book

“Sammie's voice is a bright, relatable, and uncompromising one...Strengths abound in Avery’s touching novel, and Sammie’s relationships, both friendly and romantic, are no exception...Fans of John Green’s work and Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places will be reaching for the tissue box at the book’s tear-inducing end.” — School Library Journal (starred review) on The Memory Book

“Avery (Anything but Ordinary) crafts an emotionally charged story about a young woman who has kept her eyes trained on the future, only to learn that all she has is now...Avery’s novel stands out for its strong characters, a heartbreaking narrative that shifts to reflect Sammie’s condition, and a love story that will leave many readers in tears.”  — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Memory Book

“Avery brings an emotional honesty to Sammie’s narrative.... Teens will be inspired by Avery’s heart-rending story about a special and intelligent young woman coping with a devastating disease―a story buoyed by the strong love of family flowing through Sammie’s narrative and by an exquisite love story in which Sammie experiences happiness with Coop.”  — VOYA (starred review) on The Memory Book

“Avery (A Million Miles Away, 2015) balances humor and devastating sadness perfectly. Sammie’s voice is sympathetic but not pitiful as she relates her hopes for the future and thoughts on the past...a story of self-discovery that’s hard to put down.”  — Booklist on The Memory Book


Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063273757
  • ISBN 10: 0063273756
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 08/22/2023
  • Pages: 288
  • List Price:37.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Friendship
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Family Life

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