Cold Summer

Cold Summer

Book - 2017
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"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. Is Kale's death inevitable? Does this mean that, one of these days, when Kale travels to the past, he may not come back? 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"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Skyhorse Publishing, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781510707665
Characteristics: 326 pages ;,22 cm.

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rgelinas
Jul 07, 2019

Basically this book is about a boy named Kale who has this uncanny ability to time-travel to the past, though he can’t control this ability. This currently is resulting in him disappearing on a regular basis for days at a time. When he disappears, he goes to 1945 and becomes a soldier in WWII. As a result of his PTSD and his inability to stay in his own time for any reliable period, he’s been expelled from school and is unable to hold even a minimum wage job. But then, a girl he knew six years ago moves back into the house next door, and as they fall in love she tries to convince him to learn to control his ability so he doesn’t die in the war.

And yeah, it's kind of predictable in terms of plot. But would you expect any less from a romance novel?

I’m a huge fan of the character interactions in this novel. Kale and Harper’s relationship is really, really pure. I’m a huge fan of Uncle Jasper as well, and how he tries to bring out the best in every member of his “family”. The one character I’m not too sure I’m a fan of is the father… but I don’t think I can really explain why without spoiling the novel.

Another thing I want to say is that despite Kale’s time travelling being a huge plot point and the main source of conflict in the novel, it’s not really a novel about time travel. At all. It’s more of a novel about Kale’s emotional journey, and about him “finding himself”, and I see the inclusion of the time travel scenes and of his ability as a bit of a metaphor. I’m not saying in the context of the novel he isn’t literally time-travelling; he is. But as in the tradition of slightly surrealist fiction, where a thing may just happen and not really be explained, just for the sake of deriving meaning from it, Kale’s time travelling isn’t really explained or treated with any degree of scientific rigor. If this was a novel about time and the effects of travelling through time, as well as the repercussions, etc. I would expect more explanation. But in this case, too much complexity might defeat the purpose of this book, because it's a love story at its core. The time travel is... I don't know, seasoning.

It's a fun novel. I highly recommend it.

h
hannahmeng
Sep 15, 2017

If you love time travailing, romance and fantasy, this is the book for you

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