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 received a copy of this book for review, this does not influence my thoughts or this review.
As a fan of contemporary novels, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to read Silverman’s debut. While I know approximately nothing about about surfing, a “fish out of water” story is always intriguing.
Anise is used to living near the ocean, surfing daily and spending time with her friends. When her mom’s sister has an accident that breaks her legs, Anise and her father leave Santa Cruz for Nebraska. Anise misses her friends and the last summer she’d get to see some of them, and taking care of her smaller cousins is not something she’s used to. But she quickly finds that she can take her family to the park, and in the process meets Lincoln. As the summer continues and her relationship with Lincoln grows, Anise has to confront whether she’s that different from her mom, who flits from place to place and forgets who she has left behind. Girl Out of Water is a take on the classic “fish out of water” story in a truly original way.
I really enjoyed reading about Anise’s journey, and I can tell that Girl Out of Water is a novel perfect for the summer as the vivid descriptions of surfing and summer heat will make you itch to read near a cool breeze.
Anise’s characterization was definitely well-written, and it was great to see her grow and change throughout the novel. I also loved all of the other characters, especially the love interest, Lincoln, who teaches Anise how to skateboard. Anise’s family was also great to read about.
I also loved the way in which Anise’s world was so diverse, as it reflects the reality of our world. If you’re tired of contemporary novels that feature an all-white straight cast, Girl Out of Water will definitely be a refreshing read.
Overall, Girl Out of Water takes a classic trope and crafts a truly unique story. I highly recommend it for those looking for a unique and refreshing contemporary novel, perfect for the spring and summer.