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. (via Goodreads)
I received an eARC from Netgalley and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, in exchange for an honest review!
I don’t remember when I started following author Laura Silverman on Twitter. I do remember the first time she locked her account because nazi’s were sending her death threats and horrific images. I also remember when I first added this book to my TBR. It was September, and some of the same people were rating this debut author’s book with one star, trying to tank it. In protest, and to help stabilize Girl Out of Water’s rating, I rated it five stars.
Now that I’ve read the advanced reader copy, it gets the exact same rating. This was absolutely a five star read. Prose like this filled the book. It was a complete joy to read.
For a second, I’m transported back in time, born once more into the water, everything fresh and new, yet also filled with an overwhelming sense of home.
I loved the family relationships in Girl Out of Water. It’s rare to see a good relationship between a parent and a child in young adult books, but Anise’s relationship with her dad was like a breath of fresh salt air. Her cousins were completely normal cousins, with a great relationship.
I had the luck to grow up alongside my extended family – it was fun, messy, and full of weird moods, like Anise experienced with her cousins. Family relationships are weirdly complicated, but incredibly rewarding, and that’s what we see in Anise’s experience here.
One of my favorite things about this book was Anise’s large group of friends, with each person having a distinct personality despite the fact that we barely spent any real time with them. I also loved that they held Anise accountable for not keeping in contact with them all summer, while allaying her fears about being what she’s terrified of.
I’m also a little bit in love with Lincoln, which is strange for me. I don’t usually fall in love with book boys, but here I am, in love with him and his worldview. Lincoln was honest and warm and upfront about everything in his life, whether it was about his arm, his family or his future.
Like I said earlier, this was absolutely a five star read for me. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fun, beautiful family-oriented romance. I can’t wait for you guys to read this once it releases on May 2! You can pick up a copy through Amazon, Indiebound or your other favorite bookseller!
Disclaimer: All links to Indiebound and Amazon are affiliate links, which means that if you buy through those links, I will make a small amount of money off of it.