Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Laura Silverman
Genres: YA, Contemporary
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 can’t believe this is Laura Silverman’s first novel. Her FIRST. It’s incredible. Girl out of Water is unique, funny, heart-warming, touching, and definitely one of the best contemporaries I’ve read for some time. Maybe ever.
Girl out of Water is about a girl called Anise who is planning on having one last perfect summer with her friends before most of them move away for college. That is, until her aunt gets in a bad car accident and she has to go to Nebraska for the summer to take care of her cousins. Anise has a hard time being away from home, her friends and the ocean, until her cousins take her to a skate park where she meets Lincoln, a very cute one-armed guy who challenges her to a skating competition.
Girl out of Water might seem like your typical summer romance novel at first (which would be fine tbh, summer romance novels are AMAZING), but it also touches on various different subjects like family relationships, change, loss, acceptance, and so much more. And it does it so well!
I didn’t dislike any of the characters in this one. NOT A SINGLE ONE. They are all very three-dimensional, loveable, and wonderful. I fell in love with every single one of them, and I’m certain they will stay with me for a long time.
A thing that I love about this book is that while Lincoln is an amputee, the book doesn’t focus on it. Often, when a character in a book has something about them that’s ‘different’ (aka, not allo cishet able-bodied) they become that thing. (Like, when some people look at me, all they see is ‘ANXIETY’, while there’s so much more to me.) With Lincoln, that’s not the case at all. He is everything every other character is, but he just happens to have one arm. And he happens to be the most adorable and cute character EVER.
This is also the case for some other characters. Anise’s best friend Tess is Samoan, and 2 of her best friends are in a f/f relationship. Silverman doesn’t use this as a plot device, but as a way to reflect how the world actually is. And the world is diverse. Which is an incredibly great thing.
Another thing I loved about this book were the family relationships, and especially Anise’s relationship with her cousins. I loved seeing Anise take care of the twins and have an amazing time with them, and I loved seeing how she grew closer with her teenage cousin, Emery. Reading about these relationships made me wish I had cousins, haha.
Besides all of my gushing about the characters, I guess I should also say something about the writing. Laura Silverman’s writing was absolutely brilliant. It pulls you in from the start, and won’t let you go. It’s hard to describe exactly why I loved it so much, but let’s just say that reading Girl out of Water felt like a hug. A hug from a giant cuddly teddy bear on a sunny afternoon on the beach while you can hear the waves crashing down on the sand and the sun in shining gently on your face. Does that make any sense? Oh well, you probably get what I’m trying to say. At least, I hope so.
I highly encourage all of you to pre-order this book now, because I can guarantee you that this will be one of your favorite summer reads.