Monday, 6 June 2016

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Published May 5, 2016 by Pan Macmillan
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: 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.

The Square Root of Summer is Harriet Reuter Hapgood's debut novel, set in the fictional town of Holksea, Norfolk. It's July and Margot, better known as Gottie, is still dealing with the loss of her grandfather last September, and wondering what she's going to do with her summer. She's still reeling from the events of the previous year: Grey's death, her older brother Ned leaving for university, realising Jason, her secret boyfriend, didn't love her, and losing her best friend Sof because she withdrew into her grief. Now her father tells her that not only is her old best friend and neighbour, Thomas, returning to Holksea, he'll be staying with them for the summer.

The characters and relationships in this book were all so well done. I felt for Gottie who is so lost and lonely. I adored Thomas and loved that he made Gottie's life infinitely better. Ned and Papa were both wonderful, and the addition of German words peppered throughout was endearing to me as someone who also grew up with European parents.

Did I understand all the maths and science in this story? Nope! But, you don't have to be a maths or physics whiz to love The Square Root of Summer. Gottie's story is sweet, sad, and utterly captivating. At it's heart it's a beautifully told story of grief, love, friendship, and family.

Thank you to Pan Macmillan for my review copy.

Cover designer: Elizabeth H. Clark

I love this cover, it's so summery and perfectly captures Gottie's story. 

I started with a base of black nail polish and then added stripes of green. I used acrylic paint for the daisies and the numbers.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful read!

  2. I didn't make it through this one but I did really enjoy the characters. I think the sci-fi elements were a bit too much for me and I grew really tired of having wormholes when I just wanted the story to play out normally without those lose chunks of time. Anyhow, I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Mandee--beautiful nails!


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