Title & Author: Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Genre: YA – Contemporary
Release Date: May 1st 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC Via Publisher
Description: 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
I received this book in exchange for an honest review
I would like to start off by saying this book made me feel so much anxiety it isn’t even funny. (Ok maybe it is a little) I never knew I could get second hand anxiety from a book character. Anise is such a realistic hand flawed character I stressed, worried and enjoyed right along with her. Now I can see people going one of two ways with her.
1. She’s a shitty friend and daughter and very selfish.
2. She is a girl who was forced out of her comfort zone over and over again and although she does some shitty things it’s obvious she is trying the best she can and learns from her mistakes.
I fell in the second category naturally but for the first few chapters I was extremely tempted to place her in the first one. Anise is used to being the best surfer in her close-knit group of friends. All she knows is Santa Cruz, surfing and her friends. She has never traveled out of the state of California and her trips out of her home town were less than a handful. She has her eyes set on going to a local university and living at home. For all intents and purposes she is grounded and comforted by the familiar. That is until she is forced on an airplane for the first time and sent off to middle-of-nowhere Nebraska to help take care of her younger cousins after their mother is in a near fatal car accident. There is no ocean in Nebraska. There are no friends. There is only scorching heat and an overwhelming urge to run for California at the first chance. Here is where things get a bit tricky. Anise cops an attitude the first few days there, while simultaneously trying to come to terms with the fact that she DOES want to help her family. Just in the comfort of California. Near the beach and her friends. Doing what she wants. (Insert me getting pretty annoyed with Main Character.)
Anise has plenty of problems and zero coping skills to handle them. Case in point her mother that is as flighty as they come. She’s a free spirit and always on the run for some new adventure and Anise worries she will become just like her, leaving everyone she loves behind. Pair that with her newfound social awkwardness around people she does not know and she seems to be barely treading water in the new state.
Enter Lincoln. Lincoln was the love interest I’ve always wanted to see. He is forward, sociable, polite, handsome, and extremely talented. The best part? He’s diverse but not in a way that the author just changed his skin color to suite the need for more diversity. Who he is, is very important and I really enjoyed that.
Without really giving anything else away I enjoyed this book and how REAL it felt. The anxiety, the self-distancing that some of us do instead of facing the issues head on. It was all so well done and the ending was although not concrete it was a good conclusion. I recommend this as a perfect coming of age book where self doubts meet the open road of possibility.