The Square Root of Summer – YA contemporary about a summer of love, grief and wormholes in the fabric of time.

The Square Root of Summer – YA contemporary about a summer of love, grief and wormholes in the fabric of time.

I wanted to love The Square Root of Summer.  It had math and science and a type of time travel and a cover to die for.  Unfortunately, it felt like a chore to read.  My opinion is certainly not that of many other reviewers.  While I gave it two stars, it got almost four stars on average on Goodreads.  To each his own.


Goodreads Summary

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.

My Thoughts

This is a book I definitely recommend you sample before you buy.  The fragmented narrative is hard to follow even before the author introduces the timeline.  There are no real cultural norms to help you gain stability.  The family structure, the mix of languages, and the unfamiliar setting all make it difficult to find a starting point to forge connections with the story or the characters.  Honestly, after tackling the first twenty percent, the only thing I understood was the math and science, and I’m certainly not advanced or even proficient in those areas.  The unrelenting rainy day that is the narrator is not very compelling, either.  I wanted to give up on this book almost immediately, and I suspect that I’m not going to be alone.  I can’t see this being a hit in my high school classroom library, even among my deeper thinkers, because it is just not very fun to read.  I found the ending moderately satisfying, but, I’m not sure it was worth the work it took to get there, and I was a little disgruntled that all the science and math amounted to not much in the face of a somewhat woo-woo (that is my mystical sound effect) explanation in the end.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 9+, but I’m not sure if it would hold an average high school reader’s attention.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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