Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
***I received a free e-arc from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review***
I had given this book a preemptive 5 star rating to try and combat the disgusting attack on the author after literal Nazis started trying to tank her book's ratings. Now that I've actually read it, I see that I don't have to change my rating at all.
GIRL OUT OF WATER follows Anise during her last summer before senior year. She expects it to be a summer like any other- spending time with her friends and surfing- until a family emergency sends her and her dad to Nebraska to care for her 3 younger cousins. This is sold as a romance, and while there is definitely some romance in the book, it's more of a lesser told love story of a family coming together.
There wasn't a character I despised in this entire book. All of them were well fleshed out and had depth, including the side characters which is something we usually don't get in YA novels. All of Anise's friends were distinct even though they might have only been mentioned a half dozen times. I loved how Silverman included mixed families throughout the story.
The romance between Anise and Lincoln (OH MY GOD, LINCOLN!!!!) wasn't overplayed and I like that Silverman didn't rush their feelings or include sex in this book. YA has a problem with the trope of "We just met but I love you so let's have sex" but Silverman did a wonderful job in avoiding that.
I only had two problems with this book and they tie in together. The first was that I felt the last few chapters lost the characters. It almost felt like I was reading an entirely different book and I'm not sure if that was on purpose (to show Anise slipping back into her Santa Cruz life) but it was disorienting and really almost made me drop the rating down to 4 stars. In those finally chapters, I had another problem- underage drinking. I'm totally aware that teenagers drink but it felt very out of place in this book. The "drama" it caused could have totally been rewritten. Honestly, the last few chapters just don't feel right in the book, period.
However, I did love this book. I loved Anise. I loved Lincoln. I LOVED LINCOLN.
Would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to enjoy a sweet, summery, coming-of-age story.
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