Reader Reviewed The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

The Square Root of Summer

Written by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Seventeen-year-old physics prodigy Gottie has experienced much loss in her short life. One summer on from losing her grandfather and being rejected by her first love, Gottie finds herself free-falling, like Alice down the rabbit hole, but through time, back to when these experiences happened. These time-slips intensify when Gottie’s childhood friend returns after being away for five years, and so she works on the “The Gottie H. Oppenheimer Principle” to try to figure out what’s happening to her.

This bold, soulful debut about loss, the black hole of grief, friendship - and physics - sparkles with wit, warmth and sentences to be savoured. Gottie is an utterly unique character whose journey (and quirks) will lift the heart. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Kezia Deakin, age 15 - 'Unique in its combination of genres, this book is a refreshing read dotted with many little intricacies which make it ever more original.'
  • Susie Holm, age 15 - 'The Square Root of Summer is an engrossing and beautifully written story. The quirky writing style conveys emotion and moves the story along, while staying entertaining.'
  • Zara Kazi, age 17 - 'The Square Root of Summer is a lovely physics time travel love story!'
  • Edel Waugh - 'It was an interesting book that any fan of math, physics and space would be interested in.'
  • Izzy Read, age 15 - 'An engaging contemporary take on grief, heartbreak and new beginnings, twisted with physics equations; this is enough to inspire anyone to enjoy science and nostalgia.'
  • Humaira Kauser, age 17 - 'A coming of age story of a summer's haze that captivates you from the very first page.'
  • Lauren Coffman, age 16 - 'This book deals with very fascinating topics, merging relationships and the modern world with what is essentially time travel.'
  • Sophie, age 21 - 'The Square Root of Summer was a wonderful debut. The amount of research that must have gone into this book is unreal, and the writing style was fantastic to read.'


The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel ...Last summer, Gottie's life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason, the boy to whom she lost her heart wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time - back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then ...During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last. The Square Root of Summer is an astounding and moving debut from Harriet Reuter Hapgood.


The must-read of the summer... a new twist on coming-of-age, told with vibrance, intelligence, and beauty BuzzFeed a buzzy debut Marie Claire Love, loss and heartbreak told in a wholly authentic teenage voice The Bookseller The Square Root of Summer is a completely unique and beautiful look at all the different ways our hearts can break. Brilliantly told and full of sweeping prose, swoon-worthy romance and just a touch of physics, this is a book for anyone who has loved and lost a family member, friend or romantic partner. BookTrust

About the Author

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE and InStyle in the UK. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance, which includes an MA thesis on Dawson's Creek from London College of Fashion and a dissertation on romantic comedies at Newcastle University. She lives in Brighton.

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Book Info


336 pages


Harriet Reuter Hapgood
More books by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Author's Website


Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan

Publication date

5th May 2016




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