Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman
Publication: May 2nd, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: e-ARC, 320 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Read: February 2017
I received an e-ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Anise Sawyer plans to spend every minute of summer with her friends: surfing, chowing down on fish tacos drizzled with wasabi balsamic vinegar, and throwing bonfires that blaze until dawn. But when a serious car wreck leaves her aunt, a single mother of three, with two broken legs, it forces Anise to say goodbye for the first time to Santa Cruz, the waves, her friends, and even a kindling romance, and fly with her dad to Nebraska for the entire summer. Living in Nebraska isn’t easy. Anise spends her days caring for her three younger cousins in the childhood home of her runaway mom, a wild figure who’s been flickering in and out of her life since birth, appearing for weeks at a time and then disappearing again for months, or even years, without a word.
Complicating matters is Lincoln, a one-armed, charismatic skater who pushes Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. As Anise draws closer to Lincoln and takes on the full burden and joy of her cousins, she loses touch with her friends back home – leading her to one terrifying question: will she turn out just like her mom and spend her life leaving behind the ones she loves.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This book just feels like a warm hug to my heart. It was just so beautiful. It’s all about loss, friendship, family and abandonment. It’s a coming of age novel focused on what it means to accept change and learning to understand that life isn’t stagnant. I was entertaining through the whole thing specially since I was buddy reading with my best friend, Fadwa @ Word Wonders.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style in this book was really simple and easy to read. It was descriptive and detailed and emotional, there were a lot of powerful scenes within the novel. It was funny and entertaining. It was addicting with a steady paced and it made the story feel real and honest.
Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
The characters in this book are so amazing guys! They feel so genuine and honest and just like real people. It was so easy to get lost into their lives and to feel like I was living it through them while reading.
Anise kind of annoyed me haha. She is a very passionate and determined person. She was very kind and open. However, she’s very competitive and she kind of stubborned herself into mind sets that tended to hinder her more than help her. She’s really torn and also vulnerable in this book. My favorite part of her was the way she interacted with her family and the people she loved. She was so sweet and understanding that it made those relationships so heartwarming.
I lovedddd her love interest. I think he was incredibly charming and sweet and funny. He’s so smart and adventurous and I think he pulled out a part of Anise that she didn’t realize she had. He challenged in her healthy way. There were so many amazing side characters in this series but I don’t think the majority of them had enough page time. I would’ve loved to see more from Anise’s friends from home because they seemed like they had such great friendships but it wasn’t actually on page that much.
I was so excited to dive into this book and it was so awesome! I buddy read this book with my best friend who is also a fellow blogger since we were both fortunate enough to get an ARC from the author and I enjoyed it so much.
The plot was heartwarming. We follow Anise, who is excited to spend the entire summer with her friends in Santa Cruz, CA before some of them leave for college until her Dad tells her that they have to spend it in Nebraska helping her aunt who’s been in an accident. This is the epitome of a fish out of water story (hence the title! heehee). The main character was taken right out of her comfort zone and I liked how that began to shape her coming of age story. She had to expand her mind and her beliefs as well as her day to day life because she was so far away from everything she had known. Not only did she have to help take care of her younger cousins but she had a lot of loneliness and anger with being away from her and being confronted with her mother’s childhood home. While on the outside, specially with the cover, this book looks like a light and fluffly contemporary romance but it deals with much deeper topics. I specially liked the focus on family relationships. Anise’s relationship with her Dad is so beautiful. Honestly, it made me cry because there’s nothing I want more than to be able to interact the way she does with her Dad. They’re honest with each other and they speak frankly and without judgement. Her friendships and caring nature with her cousins was also amazing to see. They were adorable and you can really feel how much she cares for them. However, the most real part of this story is the abandonment that she still deals with. Her mother is flakey, she comes in and out of her life constantly and Anise is terrified of being like her. These fears cause attitudes and decisions from her that end up hurting her more than helping her and those lessons that she has to go through was such an amazing journey. I really enjoyed the romance aspect. It was natural and developed well but it didn’t take over the story which was nice. The ending was really nice though a bit open ended in a way that’s hopeful almost and I really want more from these characters.
I am going to be completely honest here and say that Anise annoyed me because she reminded me of me. Throughout my teen years, I adamantly refused to grow up or to be separated from my mom. I didn’t think there was any reason for me to have to leave my comfort zone and in the end, it’s ended up hurting me more than helped me. I’m now struggling with a lot of harsh truths in life so reading from Anise’s point of view was actually kind of painful for me and I covered that up with being annoyed with her attitude. I empathized a lot with her feelings but I also really loved her growth and her journey because it hit so close to home. She spent a little too much time agonizing about not being at home, when she could’ve taken advantage of the time she had with her family. But besides that, she was an amazing main character.
I really loved the side characters! Anise’s family was absolutely amazing and I felt so jealous of the wonderful people Anise had in her life. They felt so real and they were so loving toward each other. Her little cousins are so cute and beautiful! Lincoln was such an amazing male character as well as love interest. I got kind of jealous of Anise (again) just because he was such a great person. He’s so honest with her but at the same time, he challenges her and makes her think things through and to imagine beyond where she is now. He’s black and has an amputated arm but those things are just a part of who he is, like his soul is so much bigger. He officially made it onto my very small book boyfriend list because I want one of those dimples for myself! I needed more from Anise’s best friends. They felt like such an amazing group of characters but because she leaves for the summer, we only see them in the beginning of the book and at the end. I wanted to see more of their friendship dynamics and more from them as individuals. I almost want to beg the author for companion books with them as main characters because it’d be amazing!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and all of you should read it! This was an wonderful debut that tackles some in depth themes in a beautiful coming of age story. With amazing relationships between the characters and a natural and slow burning romance, I was just completely sucked in and enjoyed every minute of my buddy read.
So that’s it for this post! I’d love to know if you guys are anticipating this book and if you’re gonna pick it up as soon as it comes out. I cannot recommend this book enough. If you’ve read it as well, I’d love to know if you agree with my thoughts on it. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!