Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am so thankful to be given an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and the Sourcebooks Fire. I was highly anticipating this book from Laura Silverman, an author that I was following on Twitter, and I'm so glad that I read this book at this time of my life when I could relate the most.
We have Anise, a Santa Cruz local and surfboarder converted to skateboarder who has to spend the summer in Nebraska to take care of her aunt's children after her aunt had a near-fatal accident that injured her legs. So she has to leave her senior year summer behind and temporarily live in a foreign place to me.
I've been hearing this being pitched as a unique and different idea. And I was beg to disagree, this seemed to have a typical contemporary romance premise and plot. However, what makes the book shine in my eyes was the diversity of the side characters and the way that this author handles teenager relationships realistically. The dynamic between the “single parent”-her father was extremely well-developed, it wasn’t exactly the stereotypical relationship that tends to come to mind when you think about that parent-child relationship.
The number one thing for me was to my perspective accurate representation or different cultures and ethnicity that were just casually embodied by the friends and side character of Anise. She has a Polynesian best friend, a black boyfriend who has one arm, and it was by no means a focus of the story, just something that was normally adding into our colorful world.
Also it was so adorable to see her interacting with her younger cousins and really caring about them. What didn’t happen was that she got so caught her in her summer romance that she completely forgot that there are three younger people under her responsibility. Emery seems like an extremely mature tween/pre-teen who went through the real emotions that should happen when such a tragedy like this happened.
It was doubly adorable to see her relationship with Lincoln. He was honestly just a gentlemen and motivator, and just to see the care that he took to make Anise feel happy and comfortable was extremely touching. I was basically screaming “relationship goals” throughout the whole romantic subplot, swooning, and walking around like a heart eyes emoji.
My only minor complaint that wasn’t even a big deal, was that at some points in the book Anise started getting extremely whiny and complaining constantly about not being at the physical place that she wants to be in life. At other parts she acted so immature that I just wanted to cringe at the way that she was treating some people in her life. Another little thing is that I wanted the car accident to be more of a factor, or the actual incident explained the scene in detail.
The best element that I thought the author captured in a glass bottle was your heart being torn between two places. The escalating excitement, joy, regret, loneliness, and want to go back “home.” While Anise started slightly adjusting to her new environment, I was really rooting for her transition and the start of her new relationship.
I’ve not seen many authors successfully accomplish painting this clear picture of the idea of home is where your people and family are. That sounds really cliche describing that way, and the reason why readers can approach that with such hesitation is maybe because it hasn’t been done all that well previously; this is the exception.
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