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 don’t get embarrassed easily, but watching my nine-year old cousin breeze through a trick that has me on my ass every ten seconds isn’t easy on the ego.
“I was friends with this one. Guy for a solid two months–we hung out almost every day–and he never said a thing until one afternoon we were playing basketball outside his house and he just blurted out, Dude, did you know you only have one arm?”
“It’s okay to be not okay.”
The character development is a little bit less than I was expecting from this story. However, it is written in first person from the perspective of a teenager so it actually works worth the story. Anise is so well-developed I felt like I actually know her and care about what happens to her, which is generally what I’m looking for. Some of the secondary characters feel pretty flat, but this can be caused by the self-focus of the teenage main character.
The story takes place in the real world. The two locations used the most are Santa Cruz, California (where I have been) and an unnamed city or town in Nebraska (where I have not been). Both locations are described in such a way as to make them thoroughly immersive. The additional locations are also described really well and it was easy to see myself in them, though many of them aren’t places I’ve personally been.
The story itself starts off a little slow. I like to give ARCs until at least 70% before I DNF and this one really started to pull me in around 45%. There’s a lot of back story and setup in the beginning so I got a lot of information and some entertainment (the snark and sarcasm is PERFECT) but the story does move just a bit slowly starting out.
In the end though, it’s a beautiful coming of age story with surfing, skating, love, family and disability rep, which I totally love. I do still have a few questions, but none from the main arc of the story. All the main points were brought together very nicely at the end, even though it’s not quite how I expected it to end. This is a pierce beach or poolside read! I can’t wait to read more from Laura Silverman.
Overall, I rate Girl Out Of Water 4 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder a copy of Girl Out Of Water to receive it when it’s released on 2 May 2017 and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or local library
For more information about Laura Silverman and her work, visit her Goodreads page.
I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.