Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Review - The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Every once in a while I come across a book that completely stands out from the crowd and The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood is most certainly one of those books. Harriet has written a truly clever, although sometimes mindblowing, debut novel about love, friendships and grief and it was one that I really did enjoy. The Square Root of Summer has left me feeling incredibly excited to see what other little gems I’ll have the pleasure of reading by Harriet in the future. 

In The Square Root of Summer we are introduced to Gottie who not only lost her grandfather, Grey, a year ago but also her first love who abandoned her at the same time. Having spent the past year of her life feeling both heartbroken and grief-stricken, Gottie is starting to come to terms with her losses. However, it’s not long before she notices strange things starting to happen, namely that she is travelling back in time to relive important/key moments of her life, events that seem to become more frequent when she learns that her childhood best friend is returning from Canada. Excelling in maths and science at school, Gottie is determined to find a scientific explanation for what is happening to her. 

I have to say that there were times when I felt slightly overwhelmed by the quantity of science that was thrown at me in this book, some of which was quite complex. However, what I will say is that the author has gone to a lot of effort to try and explain every concept in layman’s terms. If science isn’t your thing don’t worry as not fully understanding all of the scientific concepts in this book was not a major problem and didn’t prevent me from appreciating the truly special story, filled with a memorable cast of characters. 

The book gave an insight into grieving families, how each family member was affected by the death in a different way and how the death of such a well-loved family member impacted other elements of the remaining character’s lives such as their friendships and hobbies. Probably due to the very close bond she had with her grandfather I found that I instantly connected with Gottie. Her emotions that shone through in the novel felt very real and I spent the whole novel feeling hopeful that she would get back on the right track and find her way again in life. 

As the title of the book suggests the book takes place during the summer months and is definitely a must-read for the upcoming season, particularly if you’re looking for something that’s a little bit different but something that will leave you with a satisfied smile on your face. I didn’t really know what to expect from The Square Root of Summer but it was superbly written and it's clear that the author had taken a lot of time to really research her subject matter. I thoroughly enjoyed it.