Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Time Travel
Release Date: May 5th 2016
Book Length: 336
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.
The Square Root of Summer is a great debut from Hapgood, I loved that this contemporary has Sci-Fi and Time Travel elements, this was the biggest reason for me reading it months ago. More contemporary books need this type of edge!
Our main character Gottie has had her world ripped apart after losing her grandfather, during this hard time she also lost her sort-of-secret boyfriend her brother’s best friend, talk about AWKWARD! To add further insult to injury Gottie is alone, whilst grieving for her grandfather she distanced herself from her friends and the only person she wants to talk to is her former-best friend Thomas who moved away years before.
Things start to get a little confusing when Gottie seems to have blanks in her memory, time passing her by and her having no recollection of how she ended up at the library or the market. Gottie, a physics protégée soon discovers that space and time is splintering around her and she’s actually travelling through wormholes and witnessing her past all over again. When Thomas returns to town for the Summer Gottie starts to lose more time, unsure of what is happening to her she must work fast to discover the root of her problems and fix them.
The pacing is a little slow for me; it eventually felt like I was waiting around for Gottie to be thrown into the past so she could learn a potential lesson from it. I didn’t care much for the romance, it was sweet and simple but it lacked that certain depth that usually pulls me in.
The Square Root of Summer has a great blend of real and alternative worlds/times and as I’ve said, it’s great to find this in a contemporary book. However what was even more surprising is that I actually learned some physics, yes physics! I can’t even describe how bad I am at physics, far too many letters and numbers jumbled together but I was able to follow the story really well and understand a few simple elements of time travel. So what’s even more surprising is being able to take something away from a YA contemporary book, I would definitely recommend this to those who are looking for a unique spin on this genre and of course any physics lovers out there!