book review · books · fiction · ya · young adult

The Square Root of Summer

Warnings: sexual references, swearing, death.
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood


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.
When the fabric of the universe surrounding Gottie’s sleepy seaside town begins to fray, she is 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 Grey’s funeral.
To the day her childhood best friend, Thomas, moved away, leaving her with a scar on her hand and a gap in her memory.
This summer, although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie’s past, present and future are about to collide – and be changed forever.’

This was a good book with an interesting story, but I wouldn’t exactly say it was life-changing. It’s the third book that I’ve read from my summer TBR list, and the other two overshadowed it completely.

Gottie (or ‘Grottie’, according to her brother. What kind of name is Grottie?) seemed too archetypal for me to really like the character. Sometimes she was tolerable (slightly vanilla if you ask me), at others almost robotic and occasionally just annoyingly melodramatic. Thomas was an okay character – he was the perfect love interest and it was glaringly obvious to me, even when Gottie was ignoring him, what was going to happen. He’s her childhood best friend, he’s attractive, he bakes – wow look at him challenging gender norms. And the addition of Jason, in what I assume was an attempt at a love triangle, was unnecessary. Gottie never appeared really interested in him except for in the flashbacks. I found Grey the most interesting character, and he’s dead.

I found the use of wormholes really interesting, even if I didn’t really understand why they were there or what caused them, even though I felt like there was supposed to be an explanation. They helped me to understand the reasoning behind a lot of the things in the book and also keeps the reader in suspense before they find out what happened when Gottie and Thomas were younger.



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