The Square Root of Summer Blog Tour! Review and Q&A with Harriet Reuter Hapgood

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Title: The Square Root of Summer
Author: Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Pages: 304
Source: ARC provided by Raincoast Books
Add to Goodreads | | Indigo

Overall: 4 STARS

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.

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. 

Gottie Oppenheimer would give anything to return to the past. Back to last summer when she was falling in love with Jason, her older brother's best friend. Back five years ago, when her best friend and neighbour, Thomas, moved across the ocean to Toronto and never wrote to her. But most importantly, back to last September... when Grey, her larger-than-life grandfather, passed away. 

Since Grey died, there's been a void in Gottie's life that can never be filled. A math genius in a family of artists and dreamers, it was always Grey who pulled Gottie from the periphery and enfolded her into the heart of the chaos. And now that he's gone, Gottie has withdrawn from everyone. She barely speaks. And she's stripped the house of anything that reminds her of him; the warm memories they evoked were too painful. 

But now it's summer again in their small coastal town. Her brother, Ned, has returned home from college in London and, already, he's planning the annual end-of-summer party that Grey always hosted. Jason is back and barely acknowledges they were ever together; their entire relationship was a secret, after all. And Thomas, the boy she thought she'd never see again, is suddenly staying in Grey's room for the summer. 

It's too much for Gottie. And now she's losing time. Quite literally. Wormholes are hurtling Gottie to the past, forcing her to relive her memories and the small moments she thought she'd forgotten. When she's just as suddenly pushed backed into the present, hours have inexplicably passed and no one has noticed she completely spaced out. Gottie tries to rationalize her time traveling with physics, but maybe some events just defy explanation...

Haven't we all wished we could turn back time? Cherish a moment with a loved one or fix our mistakes? For Gottie, it's an unforgettable summer of second chances and facing her grief. Time is constantly moving forward when all she wants to do is linger in the present and past. Thomas slips back into her life like he never left. And months later, she still can't face Jason without feeling like an awkward girl with a broken heart. 

Harriet Reuter Hapgood's The Square Root of Summer is a beautiful and captivating YA debut. The prose has a decidedly English flair that I've come to recognize; it's endearingly quirky and offbeat and absolutely perfect. The Square Root of Summer is a heartfelt time travel story that explores love and loss in a truly memorable, nostalgic way. I'll definitely be eager to read whatever Harriet Reuter Hapgood writes next!

Q&A With Harriet Reuter Hapgood  
Hi Harriet! On your author bio, it says you created an encyclopedia of 1990s teen TV shows in university. What were your favourite ships in shows like Dawson's Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and when was the moment they became your OTP?

Hi, Liz! Well, like everyone in the universe who watched Dawson’s Creek I hated Dawson Leery with a white hot passion that was fiery and true. Nothing gave me more joy than watching the Joey-Pacey love story unfold – from unwilling friends to grudging mutual respect to this bananas, off-the-wall chemistry. They were just a great pairing and really understood each other. And that this left Dawson doing his crying face on the dock was just a bonus. I shipped them from the moment they did an extra-credit science project in season one and Pacey accidentally let the snails eat each other. I also shipped Jack and Jen as a non-romantic best friendship. 

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow and Oz were my OTP, from the moment he sees her Eskimo outfit at the school dance I just knew – but then when they’re waiting in his van for Xander to steal weapons from the army? And Willow asks him to make out with her? And he says no, because she’s trying to make Xander jealous and that’s on the shallow side, and he wants more than that? O. M. G.


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