The Square Root Of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Square Root Of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood | Book ReviewThe Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Also by this author: How to Be Luminous
Published by Macmillan on May 3rd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy, Social Themes, Death & Dying, Young Adult, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic, Social Issues, Science Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9781626723740

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.

The Square Root Of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood was an unexpectedly excellent read — perfect for kicking off the warm weather. I’ll admit, there were some marketing comparisons for this book that I felt were kind of misleading. HOWEVER, I just really gelled with this debut and all of the SCIENCE and the kind of sort of love feelings triangle and the permeating feelings of grief throughout the pages. The Square Root Of Summer is a book that I highly recommend and will absolutely stand behind recommending.


Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s debut young adult novel is about this girl named Gottie Oppenheimer. Gottie’s brother is home for the summer. Her childhood best friend is also in town as well. However, Gottie finds herself in a sort of depression funk. She’s deeply grieving the loss of her grandfather, Grey. In addition, she finds herself trying to come up with a new mathematical theory she will be calling the Oppenheimer Principle for extra credit. This theory relates to time travel, seeing as how she somehow finds herself losing time and travelling back to the past at various points during the summer.

Gottie is massively smart. She maybe comes across as precocious, but also unapologetic for being so smart. I loved her love of science and math. It just makes her interesting and unique to me. She also has her faults — she can get jealous in a petty sort of way and possessive of her friends and love interests. Gottie is a well rounded, three dimensional character. Sure, she has her quirks, but so does everyone. I thought her character really made The Square Root Of Summer feel like such a compelling read. ALSO HER FLASHBACKS, let’s just say that her memories and flashbacks feel so vivid and real.

There is absolutely definitely kissing and a long burning sort of romance in The Square Root Of Summer. So, okay there’s Gottie’s former secret boyfriend whom things never really worked out with because he’s kind of a douche – Jason. There’s also her best friend growing up who moved away all of a sudden and never maintained contact but truly a soul mate – Thomas. Now, Thomas is back. Jason is seeing some other girl. And Gottie is sorting through her feelings. There are definitely complications but I thought that came across as reflective of real actual life.

Okay, so the crux of what made me really fall head over heels onto my face for Harriet Reuter Hapgood’s writing is her portrayal of family. I LOVE THIS BOOK AND HOW IT PORTRAYS FAMILIES. So, Gottie’s mom died when she was a baby. She has been raised in England by her father who was a German exchange student – so there’s a whole lot of German influence on Gottie and this book which is so awesome.

She’s also being raised by her grandfather, Grey. Grey ran a used bookstore. He was so incredibly awesome. Every memory and flashback and time travel containing Grey is like a shot to the heart because he’s dead and you just end up really finding him to be the actual greatest grandfather ever. So, I think if you like books that are a little more cerebral you should throw The Square Root Of Summer in your beach bags. The characters and writing intertwine so well.

Other reviews of The Square Root Of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood:

My Friends Are Fiction – I felt it was therapeutic in my own sadness to read and experience this book.

Pretty Deadly Reviews – “It’s just the perfect storm of some of my favorite things crashing together.

Mostly YA Lit – “it’s definitely a read that takes some investment and a suspension of disbelief

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. This book is all over the blogosphere right now, but I don’t think I actually read a review yet. It sounds really cute. I’m intrigued by the math/science aspect of the main character. I am adding it to my list. Great review!
    Kate @ Mom’s Radius recently posted..Most anticipated books from BEAMy Profile

  2. This book was absolutely gorgeous, but I wish I could have enjoyed it more because while I LOVED the story, I was so confused by the end 🙁 Glad you loved this one though!! Great review 😀

  3. I absolutely enjoyed The Square Root of Summer! I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I dove into it, but I’m so glad that it wound up really working for me. The science and math parts were still a little hard for me to get into, but I found them fascinating nonetheless. And Gottie was just such a great character to read about, flaws and all! Glad you enjoyed it too 🙂


  1. […] to Be Luminous by Harriet Reuter Hapgood Also by this author: The Square Root of Summer Published by Roaring Brook Press on April 30, 2019 Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Family, Siblings, […]

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