Saturday, 7 January 2017

The Square Root of Summer

Last summer, Gotti’s beloved grandfather died. Five years ago, her best friend Thomas left her and she hasn’t heard from him since. For the past year, she’s been distracting herself with her studies, physics in particular. When Thomas suddenly reappears in her life, and her house, Gotti starts experiencing hiccups in time.

We're on the cusp of summer, but I have the sense of an ending, not a beginning.

The Square Root of Summer is a story about grief, memories, regrets and friendship with a side of time travel. It was an easy read and overall enjoyable even though not everything really clicked for me.

Gotti has never known her mother, so her grief for her grandfather is greater than one might expect. He was a stand-in parent; as one character tells her, he was everyone’s father. He was portrayed as a bit airy fairy and I’m not convinced he ever felt like a real character to me. Gotti’s time traveling, or memories, focus on the positive with the exception of his final days. She has been holding on to unjustified guilt for so long.

What if friendship has a best-before date, and ours has gone off?

Jason, Gotti’s ex-boyfriend, is a bit of a nob. Whilst it’s obvious straight away to the reader, it takes Gotti all summer, and a lot of time travel to come to this conclusion and well she still seems to think of him more positively than she should. Thomas is the ex-boy-next-door who has come to stay with them and he and Gotti are sometimes talking at cross-purposes. Whenever the subject of an email comes up, time goes all wibbly wobbly.

I quite liked the idea of the time capsule and email crossing paths and multiple timelines and whatnot. The wormhole bit started to get a bit silly and often this is the risk of trying to explain impossible plot devices. Sometimes leaving it up to magic or wibbly wobbly time stuff is OK. Gotti is a bit confused for much of the book, so maybe it’s not too much of a surprise that the reader will be too!

The book does have little drawings to explain the science stuff which was a nice added touch.

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Book Source: Purchased

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