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Cold Summer

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  963 ratings  ·  245 reviews
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
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Sky Pony Press
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Gwen Cole It is not. His childhood friend is a girl :)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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I'm a sucker for a good time travel book, so when Gwen emailed me about her book, I was all over it, without knowing more than that about it.

Love love loved Harper and Kale. They're both such good people and I really enjoyed getting the dual POV. Their chemistry was more about the connection between them and it was fantastic.

The plot is a bit of a slow burn, even when Kale is in the war time period, but the entire book has sort of a quiet anticipation that I wasn't expecting. I couldn't turn the
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not going to lie, the cover is what first drew me to this story, it is outright gorgeous and was pretty hard for me to resist. Once I read the description and saw that this would be told through the point of view of both a male and female I knew I needed to read it. Through in the time traveling aspect and I was sold.

I'll tell you a little secret, I love books about time traveling but for whatever reason, they very rarely actually work for me. Either the concept of the actual time traveling
"The past is Kale's future."

Kale lives in two world without fully belonging in either. In 2017, he's a high school drop out dealing with a fracturing family. His relationship with his parents has been strained since he started disappearing when he was seven, returning with fanciful tales of past eras. Now his mother has left the home and taken Kale's younger sister, and half of his support system, with him. His once strong bond with his older brother is falling apart as Kale finds himself pulled
Sarah Elizabeth
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss.)

“There’s no worse feeling that watching your friends die…”

This was a YA time-travel story, about a boy who kept travelling back to 1945.

I felt really sorry for Kale in this story, and I understood why he thought of his ability as a curse. Suddenly travelling back to 1945 with little warning, and being a soldier in the war must have been really hard, and I thought it was very brave of him t
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
2 Stars

Overview: DNF @ 56%

This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017, so color-me-disappointed.

Our protagonist is Kale:

Only probably not that healthy.

Instead, Kale is a high-school drop-out with an ability to time travel. However, he only jumps back to WWII and serves on the front lines. He suffers from PTSD as a result of a war that occurred 60 years ago. Our story starts when Harper, one of his best friends from childhood, moves back to town.


I love, love, love this idea. It
Simona B
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Ripples in a pond.
That’s all the past is.”

•I shelved Cold Summer as science-fiction, but I'm the first to be baffled by such a label. Time travel plays a major part, it’s true, and of course the book wouldn’t be the same without it. But I’d think about it twice before saying Cold Summer is a book about time travel. I would say instead it’s a book mainly about growing up and the nagging fear everyone caught up in this process can’t help but feel. In this sense, I saw Kale’s (our main character)
Wendy Higgins
I beta read this for Gwen in the early days and I'm SO thrilled it's getting published!! ...more
Anna Priemaza
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book was exactly what I wanted it to be. I love time travel books, and COLD SUMMER blended the excitement of time travel beautifully with the complexities of PTSD, war, romance, friendship, and family. It was more than just a time travel book; it had heart and emotion and depth.

I especially loved the family dynamics. There were family members who didn't act like family, and non-family members who did. I love found family, and COLD SUMMER did a fantastic job of exploring those relationships
Tricia Levenseller
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I was so lucky to be a beta reader for Gwen. I’d been eyeing this book for a VERY long time, and she doesn’t disappoint. I love her take on time travel. The whole idea that the past is actually the future was fascinating. Her characters feel so real and so accessible. At times, I wanted to reach through the pages and hug them, and rooting for them was effortless. COLD SUMMER is a narrative that weaves the real problems of present day teens with the fascinating concept of time travel. I’m looking ...more
jv poore
It's easy to imagine an extra ability, maybe mind-reading or time-travel, and evoke a fantasy-filled life around it. But, benefit becomes burden when involuntary and uncontrollable-and that is the actuality of Kale's life in Cold Summer.

Characters that feel familiar create instant empathy while the story-line sneaks in, adding intrigue and mystery in this bodacious book.
Chelsea Sedoti
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Time travel is awesome, right? Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to visit the past?

Except… What if the past in question is a World War II battle?

And, oh yeah, you don’t have any control of when you’re suddenly transported there.

COLD SUMMER made me seriously rethink my time travel daydreams.

Kale has never had control over his time traveling abilities. One minute he’s in the present, the next he finds himself 1945 where, as he puts it, “there’s blood on the snow and screams in the night.” An
Sarah Glenn Marsh
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
Official comments (blurb!): A heart-wrenching ride through past and present, Cold Summer beautifully explores the bonds of family- the ones we're born into, and the ones we choose.

Less official comments: For all those who long to see more family relationships portrayed in YA- this book is for you! Gwen Cole's portrayal of messy, changing, wonderful relationships between a teen girl and her mother, a teen boy and his father, between teens and their siblings, and so on, are all quite thoughtfully
C. S.
*EDIT 05/02/17*

So this book is officially out in the world today, and I can finally post my full review!

COLD SUMMER by Gwen Cole is a book for those who crave complicated characters and a plot that unwinds itself with a beautiful and methodical sort of grace. My fellow adventure geeks, if you go into this book expecting nonstop, neck-breaking action, you will be disappointed. So put your adventure caps away, and strap in for an emotional roller coaster ride that you won't be regretting.

My first
Cale Dietrich
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: swanky-17s
So this book was AWESOME. It’s addictive, romantic, and has an amazing, and original, hook in the form of a totally original spin on time travel.

The set-up is that the protagonist, Kale, can travel in time, but he can’t control when he travels in time, or where it is that he goes. And as the book starts, he is stuck returning to a particularly brutal time period: World War II.

Because of his abilities, Kale is forced to live two lives, one where he is trying to be an ordinary teenager (and has
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who else is ALL IN for these time/interdimensional travel books we have going on? ME. ME. ME. Nancy first introduced me to Cold Summer when the cover first came out and I was hooked.

Love story? Yep.
Complicated by (uncontrollable) time travel? Yes, ma'am.
Set in WWII? Just put that book in my hands now pls.
Little known fact: I am fascinated by ground warfare. It was my favorite part of history class. I love that Gwen made it so real. One of my favorite parts of the book is how Kale carries his tra
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-debuts, arcs
COLD SUMMER is a book I’ve been desperate to read ever since I first heard the premise of the story – a contemporary boy who can’t stop himself travelling back in time to the front lines of World War Two. Gwen Cole’s YA debut will be out in early May, but I was lucky enough to read an ARC, and it didn’t disappoint. The warmth of Kale’s modern life and the chill of his wartime days goes so much deeper than the temperature of the weather. This is the story of the trickiness of first love, the pres ...more
Emily Murphy
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the very good fortune to read this book early, and I enjoyed it greatly. COLD SUMMER follows Kale Jackson as he spends a summer time-traveling between an Iowa farm town and a brutal 1944 winter on the front lines in WWII. I was hooked by the premise and Cole is an excellent storyteller, navigating ambitious switches between present-day and historical settings--in addition to dual POVs.

For instance: Harper, the girl-next-door, says in present-day: "I’m back in the place where I spent my su
Wendy MacKnight
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
An amazing, imaginative book about time travel. Love the twists and turns as Kale moves back and forth between his real life and his time travel life that returns him time and again to the battlefield in World War II. Coping with PTSD, and his desperate realization that the time travelling is ruining his life, Kale struggles to stay grounded in reality, aided by love interest Harper.

Well written thriller, full of heart and imagination, this book had me on the edge of my seat!
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A powerful story about powerlessness and PTSD and war and disconnection. Loved every minute of it.
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 frien ...more
Lauren Stoolfire
Time travel is one of my favorite things and this quiet, slow building present day/ WWII time travel story that's really invested in its characters is no exception. I really enjoyed getting to know Harper and Kale, the two leading characters, because both of them are such fascinating characters. In the novel, perspective alternates between the two characters - and I have to say that Kale's chapters are pretty cool as we get to see him deal with time travelling to the Western Front in World War I ...more
Stephanie (Bookfever)
Cold Summer was one of the most unique books I have ever read. I was pretty sure I was going to love this book because it has time travel in it and it involves WWII. I'm so glad to say I was right because I did end up loving the story. I want more books like this!

I just want to say that I totally adored Harper. I love that she was a gamer, I love her style and I love how she was written. Also, kudos for the mention of Doctor Who (I'm a huge Whovian!).

Kale was a little bit harder to connect to bu
Sandy Eichelberger
Kale is a reluctant time traveler. He has no control over when or where he goes. It makes his life very difficult when he disappears from school, from home, from baseball practice and any social gathering. Only a very few close friends know his secret and those who don’t, are intolerant of his sudden absences. Recently Kale has been returning to the same time and place – Europe 1945, fighting the Germans. The cold of the harsh winter and the injuries he sustains, stay with him when he returns to ...more
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I have been in a reading slump of sorts but this book got me back into the groove again. Just wow, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into with this book because I almost NEVER read the blurbs I pick books based on cover and title. So glad I fell in love with this cover.

Kale has this small issue where he is able to time travel and he always knows when it will happen because he gets really cold. But when Harper moves into her Uncle’s house for good he has less desire to leave this p
J.A. Smith
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was sort of like a dream... One of those you wake up from and then want to continue because you NEED to know what. happens. next. I thoroughly enjoyed following along Kale and Harper (both individually and together) 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 ...more
Requiem for an English Major
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: contemporary fans, or fans of time travel.
Recommended to Requiem for an English Major by: I did
Shelves: 2017-reads, debut
Words fail me with this book. It was so well done and fantastic that I've had a hard time relating it into a review.

Cold Summer may not exactly be contemporary, but it is as close as I will ever get. Contemporary with Time Travel! What’s not to love? I’m dubbing Cold Summer as The Time Traveller’s Wife meets The Notebook, and you will have just as many feels. What Gwen Cole does with nuanced characters, family ties, and personal willpower, is something I have been searching for. These character
Nov 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not normally someone who likes books with a time travel element, but this one is really good for being a debut novel! ...more

I had been looking forward to reading this book since the end of last year. The story just sounded so intriguing and I haven't read many time travel books that I like. When this came in the mail I was so excited to read it. I started reading the first few chapters, but I wasn't really getting into it. A lot was going on at the time and I just wasn't getting a lot of reading in unfortunately. So, I decided to hold off for a few days and read something else while things settled down. When I st
Cindy ✩☽♔
Jul 22, 2016 marked it as to-read
This sounds like it will be painful and heartbreaking

 photo raw_zps4lze80cz.gif

...but I'm in...
Eileen (BookCatPin)
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cold Summer is a book that's difficult to review. I didn't love the book but I liked it. It's enjoyable because the slow pacing allows you to experience every moment clearly but the slowness also made it feel like very little happens in the book.

The story carried a calm atmosphere but with a storyline that increased in intensity. I loved the surreal quality to the book. Kale's ability is too strange yet it's real and dictates his whole life. I felt so hopeless for him as he again and again got d
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Gwen Cole is an award-winning author of Cold Summer and Ride On. She grew up in northern New York and after moving to Virginia, she met her husband while playing in a hardcore band. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing Xbox, skiing in the winter, playing softball in the summer, and always watching too much Netflix. She now lives in Richmond, Virginia with her family, always longing for ...more

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