Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: 5th May 2016
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. The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.
I thought that this book handled grief and mourning in such a beautiful way. It was completely original and I felt that seeing Gottie drop back into the past gave this book so much more emotion and power. It is very beautifully written, with an intriguing cast of characters and a great plot. I felt that it so accurately portrayed what it's like to draw back from those close to you in your attempt to cope with loss. My heart went out to Gottie and her family on so many occasions and I was intrigued to see where the story was going to go.
This is quite a strange little book. It took me a little while to get into it, the science is much more prominent in it than I thought it would be. As someone that doesn't have the greatest of strengths in the science and maths field, these were the bits that I enjoyed the least. Don't get me wrong, everything is explained and the book is easy to follow on, but I just couldn't connect with the physics aspect of the book. It was this and the 'time travelling' elements of the book that I didn't really get on with. It seemed a little disjointed and I couldn't always follow the flow of Gottie's subconscious.
The Square Root of Summer is an intriguing novel which portrays grief in such a delicate manner. Although I didn't love the book, I would definitely recommend picking it up for a read and will be looking for more from Harriet Reuter Hapgood in the future!