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The Square Root of Summer, the debut YA novel from journalist Harriet Reuter Hapgood, has been acquired by Macmillan imprint Roaring Press Books in a two-book deal. U.K. rights were snapped up by Macmillan Children’s books.
Eight publishers bid on the hot project. The exact terms of the deals were not disclosed, but the U.S. and U.K. advances were both said to be in the low- to mid-six-figure range.
Publication is scheduled for May 2016.
The book is described as a contemporary YA romance with a time-travel twist. Gottie Oppenheimer, a 17-year-old physics prodigy, navigates grief, love and disruptions in the space-time continuum in one very eventful summer.
After a long period of time in which the YA market was dominated by wizards (Harry Potter), vampires (Twilight) and dystopias (Hunger Games, Divergent), real-world-set stories have been the hot thing of late. John Green has three of the top four New York Times YA best-sellers right now: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska. Others finding recent success include Jandy Nelson with I’ll Give You the Sun, Rainbow Rowell with Eleanor & Park and Gayle Forman with Where She Went.
The Square Root of Summer seems poised to attract fans of those books while also offering the kind of long-popular fantastical twist.
The London-based Hapgood graduated from Newcastle University in 2004 and then got an MA in fashion journalism from the London College of Fashion in 2008. Since then, she has worked as an editor and proofreader for numerous publications, including InStyle and Marie Claire. Her e-novella, Last Christmas, was published in December 2013.
Gemma Cooper of the Bent Agency represented Hapgood. Editor Connie Hsu acquired the book for Roaring Press.
Film rights are being handled by Pouya Shahbazian (Divergent) at New Leaf Literary & Media.
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