It's Heating Up with Cold Summer - Review + Interview

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 trauma between time periods. 

"When I'm there...I feel needed. Wanted. I feel like I'm there for a purpose, even though I don't know what it is yet."

The relationship between Kale and Harper is such a slow, savoring burn. I did not want to rush what was happening between them.

I'm crossing into unknown territory with a reckless heart, ready to take a step toward something new.

This is not only the story of Kale and Harper but of their complicated family dynamics and what it means to find good in each other when their worlds don't reflect what their hearts are feeling.

Plus, Gwen's writing is the perfect blend of poetry within prose. This is one of those rare times where I wish there was a second book. Hint hint.

Gwen and I bonded over our This is Us tears and I couldn't resist asking her to come on the blog for a few questions.


Interview with Gwen Cole

Cold Summer is not just a love story but also a story of how combat impacts soldiers. What was the research process like around the trauma and response Kale experiences? 

So because war affects everyone differently, my research was a lot of reading books and watching shows about soldiers, mostly in WWII, but also some more recent. Seeing a wide range of stories and experiences helped me shape my character, Kale. 

Tell us about the rules you created around the time travel aspect of the book. 

I hate watching tv shows or reading books with complicated time travel rules, so I wanted to make mine really simple. I don't want to spoil anything, but if anyone is confused by time travel in Cold Summer, I did the best I could. ;)

What are some of your favorite love stories that feature lovers with barriers (time, space, etc)? 

Oh, I always love those types of stories, even though they be can the most frustrating. The Time Travelers Wife has always been one of my favorites. Others include: Illuminae, The Winner's Curse, and then *whispers* Hush, Hush.

by Gwen Cole
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Published: May 2nd 2017
Source: Publisher (but then you know I bought my own copy because it's AMAZING)

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.


  1. I just started to read this book. I hope I love it as much you did. I love the cover. it is so pretty.

  2. I really want to read this one. Great interview too. it's great to hear that she kept the time travel elements simple. Time travel books can be really hit and miss just because of that.

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