Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
Author: Gwen Cole
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Science > Time Travel
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication: May 2, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: Cold Summer is a captivating read that takes us through Kales’s hardships and traumatic moments in time, more specifically, WWII. Always in such a disarray, living with PTSD and trying to cope with the fact that he can’t control his time travel abilities. It is a painful read to go through, reliving traumatic moments with him, losing friends in battle, and knowing there is nothing that can be done about it. Then without notice being brought right back to present time and not being able to connect with anyone because of it.
“Then I’m alone. After putting it off for so long, I close my eyes and picture the place my body wants to take me I don’t want to go, but I also don’t want to stay. Two worlds I don’t want to be a part of. Two worlds I don’t belong in. And the worst part is I don’t have a choice. I stand and take a step off the porch, my foot landing on snow instead of grass. Cold bites at my skin an fills my lungs. Everything changing in an instant. I don’t have to open my eyes to know I’m here.”
There is so much depth to this story, taking us through Kale’s desire to live, to stop moving through time without warning. He is constantly worrying about the next minute, and if his following visit to the past will be his last. He wants to reunite with his family, for them to understand what is going on with him but it is a continuous cycle of denial and grief.
Then we are taken in by Harper, who has just as much going on. Trying to figure out if her decisions in life have been the right ones to make. Knowing that her relationship with her mother might never be restored, but always being able to rely on her Uncle Jasper. He is the backbone, keeping everyone sane and looking at the bright side of things.
“I feel myself splitting apart. It took me months to realize I had to let her go to get on with my life. I did because I had no choice. I couldn’t hold onto the past and continue on with the future at the same time. I couldn’t have have both, and I never would’ve done that without Uncle Jasper and Kale.”
Everyone in here, the storyline, where we are transported to, is exceptionally enthralling. It is a novel that keeps you wondering and asking the questions that Kale asks himself often… Why that specific time in the past? Why can’t he control his ablility? What does it all mean? And in all of this finding that family connection they have all desired to have.
Gwen Cole has done an amazing job incorporating time travel into this read as well as the family bond she has formed between them all. It may have been a little slow moving in some areas, but for the most part it kept me captivated and emotionally attached to these great characters.
***I received this copy from Sky Pony Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***