Review: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Title: Cold Summer
Author: Gwen Cole
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017

 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.

Kale has been time traveling since he was a young boy.  He can't control it and finds himself traveling more and more often, causing him to have a tense relationship with his family.  Because his home life is strained he feels like he doesn't belong in either time period.  When he was younger he always found himself in different periods of time each time he traveled, but now he finds himself returning to the same time period as a US soldier in the middle of war with Germany.  Kale promises his friends and family that he will always return, but he's starting to think that he may not be able to keep that promise.

Normally I don't read books about time travel but the synopsis hooked me and I couldn't say no.  I'm glad I ended up giving this one a chance.  While this book does primarily focus on time travel, there were some really great moments with other characters.  This story is told in dual POV between Kale and Harper.  Kale and Harper are both still teenagers so they are still trying to find their way.  Harper has a lot going on between her and her mother when she decides to move in with her uncle.  I loved the sweet moments between the two of them.  I thought the relationship between Kale and Harper felt a little awkward though.  I didn't feel the connection as much as I wanted to.

I thought Cold Summer had a really bleak and moody feel to it for most of the story because of the issues going on with Kale and his family, and also Harper with her mother, but most importantly the struggles Kale was having with traveling.  It also fills you with hope because you really want Kale to find a way to keep himself rooted in the present.  I couldn't put this one down.  I needed to know what was going to happen.

*I received an ARC of this title via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own. *

Find It Here: 


  1. I'm really looking forward to this one - I'm intrigued by the time travel aspect!

    1. I hope you get a chance to check it out! I really enjoyed it!

  2. I think I need this in my life! Great review!

    1. Thanks so much! If you do get to check it out, I hope you love it!

  3. This is one I'm really curious about. (As my Top 10 Tuesday post topic revealed - in regards to covers, I was draw in for this one by the cover.) It sounds like it might be my kind of read, and as I haven't read many time travel books, the concept interests me - plus I love "Eleven" (Doctor Who) and his adventures, so... :D

    1. If you get a chance to check this out out, I hope you love it! I really enjoyed it.


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