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.
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.
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.