Friday, 6 May 2016

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 5th May 2016
Pages: 336
Genres: YA Romance/Contemporary/Time travel
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

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.

As I said to Harriet at the MyKindaBook event in December last year, this is one of those books where you can be doing the coolest thing in the world and yet all you want to do is snuggle up in bed and carry on reading. Not only does The Square Root of Summer have an awesome title - it also hooks you in right from the beginning. Even if it is full of physics and equations that bend your brain until it resembles a pretzel.

So, it goes without saying that this book is tremendously clever. Wormholes, spacetime, theories, screenwipes... boys, beaches, parties, music... it's all so brilliantly intertwined. I have no idea how the writer kept up with everything! The ending was such a clever way to wrap it all up and I wish I could come up with ideas as amazing and complex as that. This isn't your average YA novel, that's for sure.

I also loved that The Square Root of Summer is set on the Norfolk coast, because I've lived here all my life and it's not often our county ends up in a book. It felt familiar - the sand dunes, the quick turnaround from drizzle to scorching sun, the lack of transport meaning you have to get creative if you want to go anywhere. It captured all of it perfectly.

And Thomas! I know some of you have actual lists of book boyfriends. You can add Thomas. #TeamThomas.

I found some of it a little confusing, admittedly, but that doesn't surprise me as Physics was always my absolute worst subject. Other than that, The Square Root of Summer is such a lovely, summery read about loss, love and everything inbetween - with a difference. Perfect for fans of Maggie Harcourt and Huntley Fitzpatrick.


  1. Lovely review, Amber! I've been wanting to read this since I first heard about it. I am all for clever books and new book boyfriends, not to mention a huge fan of Harcourt and Fitzpatrick, so I definitely need to check this one out.

  2. This book sounds so interesting- it's been on my TBR forever, so I'm super excited that it's finally out!

    And I totally get what you mean about books being set where you live. I remember loving the Fault in Our Stars mostly because it's set in my hometown, so I'd actually been to all the places Hazel and Gus went. It's awesome being able to visualize things so precisely and with such detail. It just makes the book that much more fun to read.