Author: Laura Silverman
Length: 320 pages
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: May 2, 2017
Diversity: disabled (amputee) black love interest, multiple queer supporting characters, disabled supporting character (and I know I'm forgetting other supporting characters because I forgot to take notes this time)
Source: eARC via NetGalley
If you're looking for a new release that fits that perfect summery contemporary feeling, look no further - GIRL OUT OF WATER is the book you want. This book is as summery as an ice-cold glass of lemonade on a hot day. (Unless you don't like lemonade, in which case it's as summery as an ice-cold drink of your choice.) I read this at the start of my spring break, when I was just starting to wish for summer, and this was exactly what I wanted.
I really liked the focus on sports in this book. Whether it was surfing in California or skateboarding in Nebraska, Anise's love of being active was written so beautifully that I could feel the motion. It made me want to go out and do something - not that I did, because it also made me want to keep reading.
I also loved the focus on family. There are so many great family dynamics in this book - we get to see Anise's relationship with her dad, with her aunt, with her cousins, and indirectly with her mom - and they were all really important to her and to the book. I love seeing families in YA, and this was a really interesting one to read about.
And, of course, as in most contemporaries, we have romance - I thought the romance was pretty adorable and I was absolutely rooting for Anise and Lincoln, but it wasn't my favorite part of the book, or the most important thing. It's significant, but it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the plot. I've definitely read books where the balance isn't done so well, so I always appreciate that.
I'll admit I wasn't really a fan of the subplot with the guy she liked from back home. We never really got a chance to get attached to him, he didn't seem to serve any real purpose that her friends didn't, and he just made a couple of scenes kind of awkward. Really, though, that was my only big negative, and it wasn't a big enough part of the book to affect my reading experience too much.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this and I can definitely see myself rereading it at some point. If this sounds at all like your cup of tea (or glass of lemonade), I'd highly recommend picking it up!
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?