Book Rewind · Review & Giveaway: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Crushed on by Christy Jane, on May 24, 2018, in Book Rewind, Giveaways, Reviews / 7 Comments

Book Rewind · Review & Giveaway: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole was one of my favorite books of last year. Cold Summer is a look at PTSD wrapped in speculative fiction full of feels. Plus, that cover 😍. To honor Gwen’s latest book, Ride On, we’re bringing it back to the words that made us fans in the first place and bringing you an amazing giveaway so you can become a fan, too!

Book Rewind is a meme where we review a backlist title to distinguish reviewed books that are not a new release. We noticed we tend to review almost all new or newly released books and wanted to have a feature to spotlight some older books that we either just read or are just reviewing because we never got around to it, or possibly didn’t blog back then! This meme will be posted on Thursdays as a ‘Throwback Thursday’ kind of deal.

We totally encourage others to participate in the Book Rewind Review meme! Backlist books need love too! Feel free to use our banner and be sure to link back to our page and tag us on social media so we can help promote your posts too!


Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Category: Young Adult, Sci-fi, Historical Fiction
Publication: May 2nd, 2017; Sky Pony Press
Purchase: Amazon

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.



[book rating=5/5]

Who else is ALL IN for these time/interdimensional travel books we have going on? ME. ME. ME. I was first introduced to Cold Summer when the cover was unveiled 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.



Signed paperback copy of Cold Summer and a Ride On swag pack. US Only.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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7 responses to “Book Rewind · Review & Giveaway: Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

  1. Tammy V.

    Not If I See You First by Lindstrom and Berserker by Laybourne are two that come to mind.

  2. Danielle Hammelef

    A debut book this year that made me a fan for life is American Panda by Gloria Chao. Another from last year was Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Can’t wait for Legendary.

  3. “Poetry within prose?” World War II in YA?! Sign me up now! Cold summer has been at the top of my wish list since I first saw it and read the synopsis! And after reading your review and seeing you guys’ posts on Instagram, I need it! A debut that made me a fan for life would definitely be The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I preorder everything she has coming out now. I would read her grocery list! It’s a series that I feel deserves so much more love!