I received this book for free from Rain Coast Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Song: Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande
Published: May 3, 2016 # of Pages: 304
Date Started: May 8, 2016 Date Ended: May 8, 2016
Category: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
“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 plot was sound and clear. Unique and very, how should I say it. Intelligent? No. Out of this world! The whole concept of black holes in time making loop holes and such was so much fun! I loved every moment and couldn’t put the book down. The opening was partially confusing but after the first three pages you figure out what’s really going on. It had a lot of mathematics and physic equations throughout the novel. Which I absolutely adored! And the rising action was steadily rising to chaos. A good kind. The Climax was insane and the main character finally started to figure out what was going on, which added to the theme and ideas of the novel. The falling action was exciting and drama filled, plus secrets where shared that should have been kept secret. Finally, to the Conclusion. It was a beautiful work of art. 100% a wonderful conclusion to a thought by thought work of art. Plus the DRAMA in this book really added to the story line.
The characters where fun and each their own person. They grew as characters but I wished there was a little bit more to them. I found that some characters would have been better off as background characters. But neither less, they where still all wonderful characters to read about. Our female lead, Gottie is your normal teenager who wants to enjoy her summer. Except did I mention how she is a math and physics whiz? Yeah. And has German heritage. Which is just so unique and fun! I quite the enjoyed the way she was shown throughout the novel. Her attitude could have been a little bit more prominent to the reader but none the less quite the good character. Then we had out male lead, Thomas. Gottie’s childhood friend who was with her through everything until he vanished. Not literally, his family moved but then he surprisingly came back. He is a kind boy who just so happened to have a huge crush on her ever since they where younger. He was the one thing that really kept her grounded. While we had the cool nerdy boy, we also had the badass leather wearing Jason. Gottie’s (secret) summer boyfriend. Every girl’s dream! Right? Wrong. He was something different Jason. His character was perfect to the story I found and I highly enjoyed reading about him. Along with these characters we had Grey. Gottie and Ned’s grandfather. Who had sadly passed away earlier that summer. He was the one person who cared for them. And it was quite enjoyable. Now besides those four lovely character was had our supporting character. Sophia, who was Gottie’s (old/maybe) best friend. Meg the new girl in the picture who ruined everything. And her Papa. Her father who loved her and cared for her. All of these characters where just fantastic and without them, I don’t think I would have read this book.
Overall, I highly enjoyed this story. Even though there are parts in it that I think could have been better. Besides that, it was fun and unique. Plus, I think space and time is such an intriguing topic to write about. And to do it so well? Wow.
Congratulations Harriet Reuter Hapgood for the wonderful novel!
Q&A With Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Overall, the novel is based on Time and how our Past affects our Future. Was there a
particular moment in your Past that made you the author you are today? What was it? And why did you choose to become an author based on it.
There’s not one moment I could point to, really. I think life rarely works like that – the flashes of genius and inspiration and “Eureka!” moments just don’t happen. I think we’re all just works in progress, and our pasts and memories play into our present until it’s all one big, messy muddle. I always read, and always wrote, but when I was younger I never really thought I could be an author – it’s not like that comes up in career guidance at school! It seemed a magical mythical thing. But certainly reading The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and seeing what she did with language; and books by William Goldman – like Boys and Girls Together, Temple of Gold and The Princess Bride – inspired me to try to write a book. And even though I’ve been working my butt off on this book for five years, and was a staff journalist on a magazine, I still don’t think of myself as an author! It still seems this magical, mythical thing…
And his cardigan. It’s betrayal. How dare he grow up cool. How dare he grow up at all. (57)
Ouch. Yes, a bakery. You’ve eaten my muffins – don’t even try to tell me I’m not Lord of the Sugar. King of the Muffin. Emperor of Flapjacks. (102)
I close the last atoms of space between us, and I kiss him. (155)
I don’t want to time travel anymore. I want to stay here, and discover the universe with you. (193)
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. (289)