Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Are you ready? On a scale of one to twenty cups of coffee in about five minutes, how ready are you for this review? Because I’m, like, forty cups of coffee ready. I’ve been waiting for this review for months, and now that the release date for Girl Out of Water is next week {!!!!!!!}, I can finally put this review up.

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Title: Girl Out of Water {320 pgs}

Genre: Young Adult

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

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?

Quick background: last autumn {gosh, a lot of terrible things happened around October and November of last year; hm, I wonder why?}, the author, Laura Silverman, was getting harassed on Twitter and Goodreads because she has the audacity to be a woman and Jewish {????? like, really, I don’t understand humans sometimes}. So a bunch of people went on Goodreads and gave her book five stars because the trolls were giving it one star and being, you know, generally trolly.

I’m thrilled to say that I didn’t have to change my five star review after I read it.

Let’s start with Anise. Anise. Anise. Can a fictional teenage girl be my role model? Not only is she a super awesome surfer who can probably catch thirty foot waves better than I can walk, but she’s also super family-oriented. After she has her entire summer planned out {including hooking up with her very cute best friend Eric}, her dad announces that they’ll be spending those three months in Nebraska, helping her aunt recover from a bad car accident. Instead of throwing a tantrum and sitting sullenly next to her dad on the airplane {for reals, I’ve had enough of those characters for the rest of my life}, Anise grieves for her lost summer, but, with a mother that pops in and out of her life, she understands that family comes first.

Look, as a former teenager who spent a lot of her time telling her friends that she couldn’t go out because she had to spend time with her baby cousin and nephew, it’s nice to connect so hard with a character.

Besides, it’s not like Nebraska is a total waste, of course. Where would the fun be in that? Anise’s Aunt Jackie lives in her parents’ old house, filled with memories of Anise’s mostly absent mother, even if those memories seem to be infused in the walls and air instead of out in the open. Anise’s cousins, Parker, Nash, and Emery, are totally awesome. The nine-year-old twins are a handful, obviously, and Emery, at twelve {“almost thirteen”}, is a typical preteen, complete with mood swings and causing people to walk on eggshells around her. But in their own ways, they help Anise settle into Nebraska. Emery gives her a friend when Anise is missing hers, and the twins introduce her to skateboarding, which also comes with the delicious side of Lincoln.

Not the capital of Nebraska. Lincoln, he of the gorgeous abs and sweet dimple. Oh, and one arm. But mostly abs and dimple.

Lincoln pushes Anise in skateboarding, because he knows she misses surfing and her friends and her home and the entire western seaboard. Also, he quickly understands how competitive she is, and he makes her happy with his constant games and contests. He makes her laugh when she thinks she can’t, and he brings a bit more light into her world whenever she’s messing up. But then she realizes that she’s kind of forgetting her friends in the process of making new ones, and it’s the same refrain we use for everything we forget: oh, I’ll do it tomorrow. But can Anise really put off texting Tess, her best friend since before they could walk, until tomorrow? What about Cassie and Marie, one off to boot camp and the other off to college at the end of the summer? Or Spinner, the sweetest nerd you’ll ever meet? And what about Eric?

Look, I could tell you the entire plot of this book right now, but I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate my writing as well as Laura Silverman’s. The characters are brought to life in a few lines, and you find yourself wanting to reach into the pages and helping Anise, because that’s how real she feels. Even though Laura Silverman says she’s never surfed and only tried skateboarding once, she writes about these sports with such fluidity and warmth that I wouldn’t be surprised if she came out and said, just kidding! I’m the surfing/skateboarding champion of the world!

I mean, it could be a thing.

This book comes at the best time, because the weather is beginning to warm up {in Southern California, at least, I’m not entire sure about where everyone else is} and reading this had me itching to pull on a bathing suit or sit outside at night to read. So when you finally get your hot little hands on this book, pull out your favorite drink, grab a chair {preferably outside}, put on some summer music {honestly, I listened to a lot of The Ataris while reading this, so now you all know that I’m ancient}, and settle in. This is going to be your new favorite book of the summer, and I hope that you fall as head over heels in love with all the characters as I did.

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