Photo by Mitja Juraja

If you’re searching for recommended reads to have this August, take a look at this curated list of books about second chances and starting over when life grows hard.

From The Time Traveler’s Wife to Anthoney’s Return from Hellbooks about second chances and redemption offer very interesting perspectives on the world and the ethics and morality that societies and individuals allow themselves to partake in. 


The root of books about second chances is that no matter how far individuals or communities might fall, there is always a chance for them to redeem themselves and that it is a moral necessity to offer second chances. 

After all, no one is born perfect and free from mistakes. This forces readers to rethink their ethical stances and closely examine their understanding of the nature of good and evil and the ways that these comprehensions might transform into ingrained biases that grow quite difficult to extricate oneself from. 

Forgiveness and the exact worth of life are also adjacent themes to second chances and redemption. This adjacency is a great impetus for readers to realign their values and develop a better moral system for themselves that account for changing personalities and interpersonal relationships. 

Perhaps a value that stories focusing on second chances have that is quite important is the idea that even when people are at their darkest moments, they still have the possibility of being brought back into the light. This is a great comfort to many readers across the globe who feel they are beyond forgiveness.


In this month of August, according to ReadersMagnet’s secret team of astrologists and horoscope experts (this is a lie, there is no such team that exists), the theme of the month is second chances and redemption.

Here is the curated list of recommended readings for this month of second chances:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 

This timeless chronicle tells the story of a man who discovers that he has the ability to travel through time and the woman he has fallen in love with, who he can only encounter when in the past. It is a marvelous and memorable narrative that weaves in explorations of love, loss, and second chances.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This wonderfully dark but hopeful book follows the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl who finds a second chance at life living in Nazi Germany when she discovers in herself an appreciation for stories and books.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

When a young girl named Anya finds herself hurtling through a portal into the fantastical world of Fairyland, she gets a second chance at finding the happiness that was denied her in the real world. Using her wits and her courage, can Anya survive in this strange, strange world?

Uprooted by Naomi Novak

Another story of a young girl, Uprooted, is the tale of Agnieszka, who lives in a quaint little village sitting at the edge of a dark and mysterious forest. When she is chosen to be the yearly sacrifice, her doom is stopped by the presence of a wizard named Dragon, who forcefully takes her way to his tower. Now with a second chance at life, Agnieszka must find a way to save her village and herself and perhaps learn the truth of magic.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Set in a world where dragons and humans live alongside each other, Aelin Galathynius has grown up believing herself to be the one destined to save everything from destruction. But to save a world that has only given her suffering, she must overcome her past and learn to accept her power, and, in the process, find another chance at happiness.

Anthoney’s Return from Hell by Anthoney Pate

Rescued by God from the fiery depths of hell, the demon Anthoney is given a second chance to redeem himself. Granted the new name, Regenerator, Anthoney must learn how to use his powers for good and discover how much God’s forgiveness weighs.