Published by Macmillan Children's Books on 5th May 2016
Genres: young adult, UKYA, science fiction, contemporary
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My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .
Last summer, Gottie's life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason left her - the boy to whom she lost her virginity (and her heart) - and he wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral! This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time - back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .
During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.
The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
You know when you read a book and you feel so satisfied when you’re reading it because you know how good it is? This is how I felt when I was reading The Square Root of Summer! Every single word of it was brilliant and I’m so glad that I read it.
In this perfect summer read, Harriet Reuter Hapgood mixes contemporary with a sci-fi/time travel twist. It has everything needed for a beach read, whilst also being exciting and fast-paced. The Square Root of Summer tells the story of teenager Gottie Oppenheimer who is struggling with the death of her grandfather, Grey, as well as dealing with a secret-breakup. This summer, past and future collide as the boy who broke her heart returns, as well as Gottie’s old best friend, Thomas.
I fell head over heels in love with the characters. Harriet’s ability to make each one feel individual and real made them so enjoyable to read about and I kept turning the pages because I wanted to know more about Gottie and the other characters. I always use an indicator of “Would I want to be friends with these characters?” to see how much I loved a book and I would LOVE to hang out with Gottie and her friends.
One of my favourite touches in the book was Gottie’s German mannerisms and sayings. Her dad being German, I liked how this was shown to have developed her character and was also fun for an ex-German-learner to read about. I love special touches!
The feelings of grief that Gottie feels – towards losing her grandfather and her break up – came to life on the page and I felt that I could empathise with her because her feelings were written so subtly but also so realistically – the plot isn’t inundated with Gottie’s emotions but they are ever-present and help to expand the narrative.
It was super amazing to read about a female character who is interested in science. It can be particularly hard for girls in STEM subjects, as I’ve learnt from experience, so to read about the physics was great and I hope it inspires other girls to take an interest in science.
Harriet certainly proved with The Square Root of Summer that she can WRITE! It felt so well-crafted and I 100% believed everything that was being written, even though it does stray into science fiction and magical realism grounds. I loved how, even though the time travel was there, it was almost as if I could feel the summer heat when I was reading it and it had the contemporary feel that I love.
The Square Root of Summer is a title I’m going to be shouting about all summer. It’s a standout debut that you can’t help but love and I hope that readers love it just as much as I did.
Read this if you loved…
The time travel and science elements of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
The feeling of summer and romance in The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Book in a Tweet:
@hapgoodness has written one of my favourite books of the summer – time travel, summer romance and brilliant characters – what’s not to love?!
Have you read The Square Root of Summer? What did you think about it? Let’s chat!
- If you could travel back to one point in your life, where would it be and why?
- What other time travel books have you read and loved?
- What are your favourite summertime books to read?