Author: Harriet Rueter Hapgood
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: May 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary, Time Travel, Magical
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Synopsis can be found here.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Gottie’s life has just gotten complicated. Last summer, her grandfather Grey died and since then she’s been floating in and out of her life. When Thomas, her old childhood friend, comes back to live with them, strange things begin to happen. Jason, her brother Ned’s best friend and Gottie’s ex boyfriend, is back for the summer too.
And then it gets weird.
I love The Square Root of Summer. Hapgood does a wonderful job weaving in contemporary fiction with bursts of physics, right next to some elements of magic. Gottie has somehow started time traveling, back to when her Grandfather was alive, back to when her and Jason were still together, before Thomas left her to move to Canada. She finds herself propelled through time, on different time lines, re-experiencing her life. It’s heartbreaking from her perspective, to feel everything all again as if it happened the first time.
And then to be pushed back into her own timeline, with no memory of how she got there.
The book is crafted well, drawing the reader into Gottie’s world filled with love and family and grief. I really liked all of the characters especially Grey and Gottie. The story pulls you into Gottie’s life and her suspicions on the time travel and wormholes that she is experiencing. There’s an element of mystery and surprise and wonder throughout the book that added magic.
That said, it was a little hard to know Gottie. She’s smart and logical, but I found a distance between myself and knowing Gottie as a person. Her thoughts and feelings were there but detached, which makes sense because through the whole book she is dealing with Grey’s death. But this kept me a little bit at arm’s length.
Overall, The Square Root of Summer is a lovely and mesmerizing book filled with mystery, science and a little bit of magic. It’s a beautifully smart read, slowly evolving page after page as we jump with Gottie.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy