The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Release Date: May 5, 2016
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Pansing
Buy: Available at all good bookstores!

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.

O! How I am torn with this book! The Square Root of Summer is the first book I've read this summer, and it's got me all confused. On one hand, I loved so much about it. Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a terrific writer. But on the other hand, I WAS SO BLOODY CONFUSED. Not only did the physics mentioned in it confuse me, but the story just took a turn at some point, and, at least for me, went downhill from that point.

First, let me talk about the good. The writing flowed, people, it flowed. It felt like something out a very well done indie film; it had that little electric zap to it. It was absolutely beautiful, this meld of science, and future and past, with romance and the thoughts of a 17 year old girl. I loved the characters as well! Gottie was a great main character, I loved how quirky she was–it reminded me of who I wanted to be growing up, but could never really pull off. Thomas was fantastic too, and Ned was ma absolute FAVE. All the characters were flushed out so well, and you could actually picture them in this fantastic setting, with their wonderful German mannerisms in England, and it was lovely to read about. 

However (and how I hate that it has to come to this), there were several things that didn't sit with me, as I mentioned before, because this book confused me a lot. I'm not a physics person, or any type of science person in general, so reading about physics left me befuddled. Some of it was interesting, don't get me wrong, but the explanations frustrated me from time to time. Because of this, the story at some point just took on this weird turn, and I was left standing in the dust. There was a twist somewhere? Maybe? See, I was so confused by the end, I wasn't even sure what had just happened. I wasn't sure if there was magical realism present in this book, although I'm leaning more towards that there was, but I seriously did not know how this story ended and what exactly had transpired.

Hopefully you all are smarter than I am, because I really feel like you should give this book a try. Maybe it's just me who's super confused about this one, because it feels like I should have enjoyed this book a whole lot more, but because of how perplexed I was by the end, I came out of it with mixed feelings. Hapgood has an amazing way with words, I'll definitely say that. I'm looking forward to reading more from her, but I'm just hoping, for my sake, it doesn't include physics. 

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sasha from Pansing for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

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  1. There are just a few exceptional novels that don't work for us. Take My current review for example. I read The Invisible Library because everyone just loved it. Not this reader so it happens. I'm sure there are also books that we loved and other didn't.

    Here's to hoping our current read is great

  2. Aside from the physics stuff, it sounds like you definitely enjoyed this one with how it was written and everything! It kind of reminds me of the physics sections in Falling into Place, that went over my head as well.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  3. I hear you on the physics stuff. I took 2 weeks of physics in high school (yikes!) and didn't understand a thing. I've wanted to read this book, so I'll probably still give it a shot, especially since you liked everything else.

    Dena @ Batch of Books

  4. This sounds confusing lol. I don't need confusing with my contemporary. I might have to skip this one!


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