The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of SummerThe Square Root of Summer

Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Sci Fi

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Publication Date: May 5th 2016

Format: Paperback (322 pages)

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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.

My Rating: ★★★

This book is quite a difficult one to review because there were certainly things that I liked about it but there was also quite a lot that I was indifferent to. I know of some people who have loved this book and others who have not got on so well with it, I think I’m best placed in between the two of those extremes. Instead of my usual review I’m going to split this into the bits I liked and the bits that didn’t quite tickle my pickle!

Things I liked:

  • The writing style. I mean there are some scenes in this book that are so beautifully written and I could have reread some of these sentences over and over. The descriptions in this book are spot on.
  • The summery feel. I’m definitely glad that I read this book during the summer or some of its charm would have been lost on me.
  • I thought the way this book dealt with grief was really well written. Gottie is stuck in her own cycle of grief after her grandfather dies and I thought this was quite nicely represented and made a lot of sense by the end of the book.
  • The romance was okay. It’s not a couple I would fall head over heels for but it definitely had its moments where I thought it was completely adorable.

Things I liked less:

  • So I know this book is about time travel BUT there was just too much science for me. I couldn’t understand some of what was being said and as a result I found myself skimming sections of the book when I could see all the science jargon. I feel like I needed it to either be a contemporary or a science fiction, my brain couldn’t handle both concepts. But I’m sure plenty of readers will love this!
  • I felt confused sometimes. The time travel wasn’t always clear to me and then I couldn’t quite follow what was happening (my skimming won’t have helped here!)
  • I wanted more of a connection with the characters. There is a great cast of characters here but I felt like I never got to know most of them well enough to truly care about them. I just missed that connection that I so wanted.

There is plenty for people to like about this book; I think it just wasn’t quite for me. If you love Physics/Maths and romance then this is definitely a book you would like so I highly recommend it.

Although I read a paperback copy, this is one of my NetGalley backlist titles so thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Have you read The Square Root of Summer? What did you think?

What are your favourite summery reads?


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10 responses to “The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

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  3. What a fascinating premise for a novel! I personally find that time-travel-focused novels tend to straddle this line more often than not. It’s hard to write a well-crafted time-travel story without bringing in too much science, but most people just want enough to understand that it is *possible* in this world– not all the nitty-gritty details. I struggled with the lack of explanation for how time travel worked in The Girl from Everywhere, so I guess we can’t always win, right?

    That said, it’s obvious this wasn’t the only thing you struggled with. I like the change in format to deal with your conflict. I did something like that recently, too! Snow Crash left me equally conflicted. Sometimes a list is the best option!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read this one yet, but it sounds pretty interesting. I do like science, so maybe I would like reading all the jargon more… but at the same time it could end up just confusing me too. I don’t know if this one is really for me, but I might end up giving it a try eventually. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is pretty much exactly how I felt about it too! The characters didn’t really do it for me and I think that more than the sciencey bits were an issue. Ned was the one I kind of got on board with the most. The writing was A+ though!

    Liked by 1 person

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