Skip to main content

Book Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of SummerTitle: The Square Root of Summer 
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Series:  standalone
Pages:  336
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 5th May, 2016
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from back of book: 
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.

When the fabric of the universe surrounding Gottie's sleepy seaside town begins to fray, she is hurtled through wormholes to the 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 Grey's funeral.
To the day her childhood best friend, Thomas, moved away, leaving her with a scar on her hand and a gap in her memory.
This summer, although Grey is gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present and future are about to collide - and be changed forever. 


My Thoughts:
There is a huge amount of hype surrounding The Square Root of Summer, so rightly I was super excited to give it a read. I will say right from the start that I was completely wrong in my expectations for the book. I'd briefly read the blurb, expecting quite a light, summery contemporary (I'll admit I totally judged it by the cover ;) ) and that isn't quite what it is - kind of, but with added science fiction-y maths-y time travel.  Yeah. That's not a bad thing at all, as I do like to be surprised, but I think it did affect my reading experience just a little cos it took me a while to wrap my head around it... Totally my own fault, so I'm just warning you not to make the same mistake :P

It took almost the whole first half of the book for me to settle in to the rhythm and really gel with Gottie's voice.  I understand that she was grieving and that things were so tough, but sometimes I felt that she could be a little bit annoying and melodramatic. Maybe I'm being harsh but I couldn't get on with her, especially when she was moping about Jason, whom I really didn't like (Thomas is much better - and he bakes! WINNER ;) ).  However, this all set up for the end, by which point you could really see Gottie's development throughout the story, and this was something that I really loved. It's not often that you can see character development so clearly but it not seem forced, and Harriet hit the nail on the head there with Gottie so that was pretty cool.

One thing that really surprised me about The Square Root of Summer was the amount of physics that is in it.  I have absolutely no idea whether any of it is real physics or maths or whatever (like it could all be made up for all I know!) and to be honest most of it went completely over my head but it was an interesting addition to the story, and not something I've seen before in a YA novel.  It's not vitally important to the plot or anything so don't worry about it though if you're not sciencey! It was also really cool to see Gottie genuinely interested in it - although STEM bores me completely to death, obviously it's so important that young girls who are interested see females embracing and flourishing in it.  There is also a lot of German within the novel as Gottie has German heritage, and that was really cool - and not only because it proved that my German A Level wasn't a complete waste of time since I understood most of it! You could almost pass this book off as educational ;)

Then there was the time travel element of the story, which was pretty good, I think? I'm unsure. It is pretty confusing, not gonna lie, but it does make for interesting reading! I love time travel on TV, like you probs know that Doctor Who is one of my favourite things if you've ever been on my Twitter or spent any time with me, but I've always found that it doesn't work all that well, for me, anyhow, in books.  I always end up getting so confused, and all Gottie's talk of wormholes and trying to keep the timeline linear in my head so I knew what was going on was pretty difficult! Maybe because I didn't devote enough time to reading (it took me about three weeks?) and so I couldn't remember things from the beginning of the book though? One thing I did really like about it was that it was in these bits that we got to know Grey, Gottie's grandfather. Even though he dies before the book even begins, I feel like I know him as a character and he just seems like he was a cool guy. Would have liked more of him although that isn't the point of the book at all.

Overall, I am glad that I gave The Square Root of Summer a chance and ended up really enjoying it.  It's unlike anything I've ever read before and probably will ever read again, and it's not often that one can say that in today's world! I definitely recommend for your summer reading lists and I'm looking forward to more from Harriet in the future - she's definitely one to be watched, I think!


*Huge thanks to Macmillan Children's Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 



Comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! :D I love comments, so comment away! :D

*I am no longer accepting blog awards :( I do not have time to go through all the things that come with it, and though I'm honoured you thought of me, I'm sure you can find someone who will love it, and be able to carry out the rules :)

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Hello all! Hope you're all enjoying the summer! I'm currently on holiday in a huge castle in the South of France and enjoying relaxing, playing games, and of course reading a lot! 

Today's post is a review of a dreamy summer romance that's perfect for your holiday TBRs!
Title: A Sky Painted Gold Author: Laura Wood
Series:  n/a
Pages:  356
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of Publication: 5th July, 2018
Source: Publisher for review*
Synopsis from Goodreads:Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?


My Thoughts:
A …

REVIEW: It's A Wrap by Perdita and Honor Cargill

Good morning! I have finally finished my degree (woohoo!) and so I (should) have all the time in the world for reading and blogging now! Here's a review of the final book in a series that I always love to read when I'm revising... 



Read on for why I enjoyed this so much! 
Title: It's A Wrap  Author: Perdita and Honor Cargill
Series:  Waiting For Callback, #3
Pages:  351
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: 31st May, 2018
Source: Author
Synopsis from Goodreads:Elektra James is back and her life is more hilariously chaotic than ever!

Elektra is hoping for BIG things this year... She's finished her first feature film (even if her character was unexpectedly killed off half-way through filming), hosted the party of the year (well, before her mum arrived and threw everyone out - how embarrassing!) and managed to become Archie Mortimer's Actual Real Life girlfriend (for now anyway...), so things are most definitely moving in the right direction. But with social media…

SERIES REVIEW: The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Hello! Welcome to my appreciation post for one of my favourite series - The Illuminae Files!


I'm going to try and keep it non-spoilery but be cautious if you've only read Illuminae and/or Gemina
THE FACTS: Series title: The Illuminae Files
Series authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Series completion date: 13th March, 2018

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results…