Thursday, April 27, 2017

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole {blog tour review + giveaway}

Hey, all! I'm hosting today's stop on the Rockstar Book tour for 
Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
Haven't checked this one out yet? Well, I'm here to tell you..YOU NEED TO. 
Check out my full review below, and be sure to make it to the end of this post, where you can enter to win one of the 7, count em', SEVEN copies of Cold Summer being given away.

by Gwen Cole
♦publisher: Sky Pony Press
♦release date: May 2nd, 2017
♦hardcover, 256 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦source: from publisher for honest review
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.

Review: I had a feeling when I saw this synopsis that I might enjoy this one. But I had no idea just how much I would end up loving it.  It was beautiful and real and heart-wrenching and many feels. And tears. I don't cry often at books, sometimes there is one moment in a book that will really take me by the heart and bring me to tears---in Cold Summer there were a few. 

There were so many elements that drew me into this one:  a potential romance with years and years of history behind it, broken families working to rebuild themselves, good supportive friendships, great complex characters trying to find their places in a confusing world.  Not to say that they were perfect---oh, they definitely had their flawed moments and times where I just wanted to wring their necks and scream "Set your pride aside already, it will make things better for everyone!". But I understood how they might feel the way they did and my heart just went out to them. 

The time travel aspect was perfectly done. Time travel can be tricky and can trip over itself if it tries to over-analyze the hows and why's if you ask me.  Kale's strange ability just "is" and the story was less about the time travel itself and more about how it affected his relationship with the people who cared about him. 

I can't attest to how well or accurately PTSD was portrayed here as I have no experience with it, but it was definitely heart-wrenching to see a young man go through it, especially in a situation where it was fairly impossible for him to seek help.  

Cold Summer reads as a beautiful contemporary story with a bit of a sci-fi twist and I thought it was the perfect way to tell Harper and Kale's story, two teens who've known eachother all their lives falling in love in extraordinary circumstances. At it's heart, its a story of how each person finds their own meaning of family, home, and love. 


Gwen Cole writes Young Adult books and her debut novel, COLD SUMMER, will be released in the spring of 2017 with Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing.

She grew up in upstate New York, moved to Virginia where she did not graduate college, and worked a various number of jobs including pharmacy technician, meat clerk, ranch hand, and a receiving specialist at Target. She may or may not have written a number of books while working at certain jobs.

At the age of eighteen, Gwen played bass in a hardcore band and later married the lead guitarist. She can also play piano, guitar, and wishes she could play the cello. Her favorite place to vacation is Wyoming, where she gets to wear a cowboy hat and pretend she actually is one.

Gwen now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, daughter, and very large dog, where she longs to live in the country again.


Purchase COLD SUMMER: 

 Indiebound   •  Amazon  •   Book Depository

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit ALL the tour stops!
Week One:
4/24/2017- Brittany's Book RamblesInterview
4/25/2017- Just CommonlyReview
4/26/2017- Literary MeanderingsGuest Post
4/27/2017- Stories & SweetiesReview
4/28/2017- Adventures of a Book JunkieInterview

Week Two:
5/1/2017- Novel Novice - Review
5/2/2017- Fiction FareGuest Post
5/3/2017- Pretty Deadly ReviewsReview
5/4/2017- YA Books CentralInterview
5/5/2017- Owl Always Be ReadingReview


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