I was so impressed by Laura Silverman’s debut novel, Girl out of Water. I personally want to thank her for giving us a super GORGEOUS love interest that is both a person of color and has a physical handicap. There is not NEARLY enough of that kind of representation in literature yet, though we’re definitely making progress. This book is also just fantastic. Silverman tackles BIG issues in this book while still maintaining a genuine YA tone and giving us an AMAZING cast of characters. This book is definitely one to watch in 2017, and Silverman is destined to become a major name in YA contemporary fiction after this!
Wine Pairing: I recommend a Barefoot Pinot Grigio to pair with this beachy novel that will make you wish you were barefoot on a beach in Santa Cruz yourself.
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
To be published by Sourcefire Books on May 2, 2017
My Rating: I was sucked into this story right from the beginning. The way Silverman depicts Anise’s life in Santa Cruz and her relationships with her friends makes you feel like you are right there with them. I’m DYING for a road trip to Santa Cruz now! The fact that I was so engrossed in the world definitely made me feel the emotional upheaval that Anise experiences when she has to leave her dream summer behind to care for her cousins after her aunt’s serious car accident.
Anise’s complicated relationship with her absentee mother definitely hit me right in the feels. Experiencing the turmoil it causes her really brings such a deep understanding of Anise’s character and motivations and is yet ANOTHER thing that Silverman does brilliantly in this book.
It’s truly the characters and their relationships with one another that make this such an amazing read. I could not get enough of them and even though this story certainly stands on its own legs, I would LOVE to see spinoff stories from this book from the perspective the other amazing characters.
Cover Rating: I really like this cover. I feel that it represents the tone of the book, as well as the emotional struggles Anise faces, really well.
Swoon Worthiness: Lincoln is most definitely swoon worthy! He is absolutely GORGEOUS. He’s fun. He’s sweet. He’s basically the dream boyfriend. And as mentioned above, I cannot praise Silverman enough for creating such a swoon worthy love interest that is a person of color that also has a physical handicap. His character is absolutely BRILLIANT!
Eric also makes for a super swoon worthy character. Not only is he Jace Herondale levels of handsome, he’s a REALLY great guy.
Why You Should Read This Book:
There are SO many reasons you should read this book! The story is so engaging, you won’t want to put this book down until you follow Anise’s journey all the way through to its conclusion. This is definitely one that’ll keep you up reading past your bedtime. This book has a WONDERFUL representation of diversity in the main love interest in the book. I’ve said this over and over in this review, but that is so, so important and something that still isn’t being done nearly enough. I would be a fan of this book for that alone, but there is SO MUCH MORE to it than that. The characters are all amazing. You’ll fall in love with all of them and truly care about what happens to them. Silverman also does a FANTASTIC job with the setting of this novel. You don’t usually see as much of an emphasis on setting in YA contemporary fiction, but Silverman truly brings Anise’s world to life, particularly Santa Cruz and the skate park in Nebraska.
“Saying I love him is like saying the Beatles had a decent career.”
“Maybe hospitals have McDonald’s for one simple reason: fries stitch families back together.”
“Good things are infinite too.”
“Don’t be a snob, dude. A good book is a good book.”
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
*Wine Recommendations are, of course, for those of legal drinking age only.*