So, today I have the pleasure of sharing my YA book review for Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
Here's a 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.
Dreamy, right? And that's how I'd describe this book. It was most certainly like a dream... One of those stories you sort of have to wake up from once you put it down, but then need to continue because you MUST know what. happens. next.
I thoroughly enjoyed following along Kale and Harper (both individually and together as this story is written in dual point of view) as they navigated their often normal, but even more often, extraordinary teen lives.
Their romance was very sweet and the issues Cole touched on were timely and relatable to teen and adult readers alike. BUT my favorite part of the story was the dreamlike quality of Kale's time travel interlaced within a seemingly contemporary tale. It was reminiscent, for me, of A.S. King's Everyone Sees the Ants. A thoughtful, exciting, and lovely must read.
About the author:
Gwen Cole grew up in upstate New York and then moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college. Instead she played bass guitar in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She enjoys large jigsaw puzzles, playing Xbox and softball, and watching movies. Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.