April 20, 2017

Review: Girl Out of Water

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Grade: C
Release date: May 2, 2017
An e-galley was provided by Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for review consideration.
Summary: 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

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The premise of Girl Out of Water is wonderful - I love the focus on family, and it's great to see athletic heroines (even though I can't relate to them at all). Anise has a good bond with her father, she's got a solid group of friends, and she acts like a typical teenager - a bit self-focused, but also willing to help and step up to the plate if needed. Lincoln felt a little unnatural at first, but I grew to like him, and his and Anise's romance was sweet. I also really enjoyed watching Anise and her cousin, Emery, bond. At times Emery and Austin (Lincoln's brother) seemed a bit unrealistic in how they acted - after all they're only supposed to be thirteen - but they weren't unrealistic all the time, and Emery has gone through a lot of things that might make her mature more quickly than the average middle schooler. I loved how her friend group sub-plot resolved.
The sub-plot with Anise's mom felt very unresolved. I kept thinking it was going to lead somewhere at the end, but it never did, and I felt unsatisfied.
The main thing keeping me from loving this book was the amount of swearing. It's really not my thing, and I'm okay with half a dozen to a dozen uses of the words, but this felt excessive. There was also underage drinking and talk of drugs, which are not things I appreciate in books either.

The Verdict: Definitely great for fans of Sarah Dessen. It just wasn't completely my cup of tea.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Probably not.

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