05 May 2016

ARC Review: The Square Root of Summer, Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer

Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Published: 03/05/2016, MacMillan Children's Books
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 3/5

"This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood."

The Square Root of Summer is an interesting book. But, it's also a very confusing book, especially for someone like me who hasn't really come face-to-face with physics since I was 13. This resulted in me taking quite a while to read this one.

Aside from the time travel, what Gottie has gone through is something that everyone can relate to, i.e the death of a loved one, a broken heart and loss of a best friend. Therefore, this makes her story feel very real. I also think that the time travel aspect does work for Gottie as she is so interested in physics already. As I said, I just couldn't get my head around it.

I enjoyed the characters in The Square Root of Summer, especially Gottie and her family. They all bring something different to the story and are all so different themselves. Gottie who is a complete science genius. Her brother, Ned, who is a 70s rockstar wannabe and very protective of Gottie. Her grandfather, Grey, who is so easy going and I think a bit of a hippie. Her German dad who is just plain odd. Then there are her best friends: Sof, who dresses straight out of the 50s, and Thomas, the baking genius. They are a very strange family but that is what makes them so endearing.

The Square Root of Summer is told from Gottie's perspective. Therefore, the reader is right in the heart of her confusion, grief, and heartbreak. I didn't find the story too predictable at all either, but perhaps my confusion played a part in this. Most plot threads are also tied up fairly nicely, except for the reason why Gottie keeps going through wormholes. This needed a whole lot more explanation in my eyes.

Overall, I did enjoy The Square Root of Summer. It's an interesting concept for a story. I just felt a bit bogged down by the physics. (I even tried to do some background reading, but I may have just confused myself more.) I would definitely recommend this books to fans of YA contemporary, however, I think some physics knowledge would be helpful.

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