Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole


Cold Summer by Gwen ColeCold Summer
by Gwen Cole
May 2, 2017
322 pages


Goodreads Summary:
Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.
 

Review

Cold Summer is a book that's difficult to review. I didn't love the book but I liked it. It's enjoyable because the slow pacing allows you to experience every moment clearly but the slowness also made it feel like very little happens in the book.

The story carried a calm atmosphere but with a storyline that increased in intensity. I loved the surreal quality to the book. Kale's ability is too strange yet it's real and dictates his whole life. I felt so hopeless for him as he again and again got dragged into another timeline. It was hard watching Kale live his other life knowing what was waiting for him at the end. His real life suffered harshly because of it but when Harper reenters his life, he gets a chance to pull free.

Harper was a constant in Kale's ever-changing life. She motivated him to want to work things out with his dad, to want to try to control his ability. Harper had her own headaches but it never stopped her from wanting to help Kale. They had mutual understanding and respect which made for a very sweet and healthy relationship. It was adorable watching their budding romance blossom.

Ms. Cole does a wonderful job illustrating the past Kale travels to. Every time he went, I could picture the battlefields vividly. It's never explained why Kale has this special ability but I would never want to be in his position. Though I'd love to get a background, I also accept that some things just are. Realizing Kale's traumas had a purpose brought out exactly how meaningful the story is. What Kale went through mattered.

There was pain in this story but there was also healing. A lot of good came out of the bad. If magical realism is your cup of tea then I'd suggest picking up a copy of Cold Summer. The character growth, sensible romance and dramatic worlds are all worth investing your time in.

4 Cats
*I received a finished copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.

10 comments:

  1. Sad that the pacing was a little off, but glad that you enjoyed it for the most part because it does sound interesting! Great review :D

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    1. Thanks Rabiah! IT's definite got a very unique concept. Maybe even room for a sequel ;)

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  2. I'm glad to hear that you liked this one. I definitely agree that I wanted the time travel stuff to be more explained. I guess you're right that it's got a magical realism vibe too it but I just like there to be clear rules. Great review!
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

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    1. Ya it bummed me out a little to not see an actual explanation but glad there was a point to the story :D

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! I haven't read it yet, but it's been one of my most anticipated books for a while now, so I hope I love it :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. I look forward to reading your thoughts! <3 <3

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  4. I'm so back and forth on if I want to read this!

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    1. Obviously I'd love to hear what you think of Cold Summer but I think if there are other books you really want to read then read those first.

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  5. I've been wanting to find more magical realism books so I will definitely be checking this out! Although it does sound like quite the emotional read...

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    1. Oh I hope you do check it out! It's not too emotional but being prepared is always good :)

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