Book Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Posted June 17, 2016 by Melissa in Book Review | 14 Comments

Book Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter HapgoodTitle: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Publisher: Macmillan, Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Target Audience: Young Adult
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction
Length: 295 Pages
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

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.

With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, The Square Root of Summer is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

Book Quotes

“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.”

“And as he looks at me, I suddenly get it. This isn’t the Big Bang. It’s just summer. But it’s still love. It’s still something.”

“The Uncertainty Principle states that you can know where a particle is, or you can know where it’s going, but you can’t know both at the same time. The same, it turns out, is true of people. And when you try, when you look too closely, you get the Observer Effect. By trying to work out what’s going on, you’re interfering with destiny. A particle can be in two places at once. A particle can interfere with its own past. It can have multiple futures, and multiple pasts. The universe is complicated.”

My Thoughts

Oh this is going to be a hard book to review!

The Square Root of Summer is one of those books that becomes so much more than just the sum of it’s parts.

Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s debut The Square Root of Summer is one of those books that simply must be felt to be understood…I don’t know that I’ll be able to capture those feelings in words but here goes…

I will start by saying that this book simply feels like summer. There’s just something ephemeral about it while at the same time that feeling manages to last.

There’s something very reminiscent of those long, long summer days of childhood. The days that seem like they’ll never end and the way that time moves so differently when you’re young and have nothing to do all day but simply be. There’s that sort of warm drowsy feeling when time moves at a different pace and the day’s (and life’s) possibilities are many.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first dove into The Square Root of Summer. Was this a sci-fi book?Time travel? Fantasy? Contemporary? Or a Coming of Age – Issues type read? I’m still not sure what the correct answer is…but I sense that it doesn’t really matter. It’s a little bit of all of these and so much more.

I don’t know if Hapgood’s math and physics in The Square Root of Summer made any sense and at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter it was more about how Gottie thought and felt….how she perceived and dealt with the world around her than the actual science of it all.

In other words don’t let the science in The Square Root of Summer intimidate or confuse you…just let it wash over you like the rest of the book.

I loved the mix of personalities. Each and every character in The Square Root of Summer was interesting and unique in his or her own way and contributed something special to make up this beautiful whole.

This is a story about love and grief…about family and friendship…about perspective and the healing nature of time and how we grow and learn about the world and ourselves through it all.


The Square Root of Summer becomes so much more than just the sum of it's parts. Click To Tweet

About Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance fashion journalist and author of THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER (coming May 2016). Her first-ever professional writing credit was for Just Seventeen magazine, and she’s been YA obsessed ever since. She likes burritos, cats, Gwyneth Paltrow and young adult fiction, which she plans to write more of, though she’s also considering a PhD in Dawson’s Creek.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Don't want to miss a thing? Subscribe to my newsletter and get all my posts in your inbox!

14 responses to “Book Review: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

  1. Sounds intriguing! Time travel books always make my brain a little fuzzy, but when done well they can be so interesting and I love the unexpected twists they often have! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.