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(Girl out of Water #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  945 ratings  ·  231 reviews
Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…

Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.

… or it was. She comes dead last and to to
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
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Tamara Nelson-Fromm Supposedly, but it's not really synchronized swimming AT ALL. More like water acrobatics or something like that.…moreSupposedly, but it's not really synchronized swimming AT ALL. More like water acrobatics or something like that.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  945 ratings  ·  231 reviews

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Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
“You swim no one's race but your own.”

This is one of the funniest books of 2016. I honestly could not stop laughing, which, to be honest, was a bit embarrassing since I was reading in public. I gave my best but Nat Luurtsema is just too hilarious. 100% laugh out loud guarantee.

I'm glad the author decided to write a YA novel. She's got talent for quick, light-hearted stories and unintentionally funny characters.
I loved the main characters' family. The parents were loving but not too perfect, the
Aj the Ravenous Reader
A laugh-out-loud coming off age story about the tall, awkward and lanky Lou who didn’t make it to the High Performance Training Camp for swimmers and ended up fending for herself back at her school without Hannah, her best friend .Of course, she has to go through each day friendless and alone until she unexpectedly gets involved with three of the most popular guys in school and her life gets upturned in the most unusual and hilarious way.

I don’t want to give much of the plot away because that’s
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Before I get into this review, I have to mention that I'm probably incredibly biased. You see, talking about Goldfish made me remember my swimming career. From ages 11-14, I thrived in the swimming world. My times were always improving, I qualified for a number of swim meets, I had many friends, and I had great times. Unfortunately, once I hit 15 years old, it all went down from there. My body stopped growing, my peers in high school were faster than I was, and my personal records stayed the sam ...more
Eileen (BookCatPin)
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Goldfish is an oldie but a goodie. It's exactly the type of story to read when you need a breather. The book is quick, fun and easy to read.

Lou was a lot younger than I expected and it showed in her voice. The triple speed inner monologues, her always panicky thoughts were all indicators on how much growing up she needed to do. I liked Lou. Despite her whiny nature and lack of confidence she was never pretentious and had sass at times. Lou Brown was generally a good person.

The boys were fun to g
Whispering Stories
Lou Brown has only one goal in life, to become an Olympic swimmer, along with her one and only friend, Hannah who is a swimmer too.

But when Lou fails to make it in the heats to get into the prestigious high-performance training camp, and Hannah does, she is left with no swimming lessons, no best friend to hand around with, and no purpose to her life.

Things get doubly hard for her at school without Hannah, as Lou is classed as a social outcast, and no-one wants to sit with her, let alone talk to
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Girl Out Of Water was an absolute delight. Following the storyline of Lou, awkward, lumbering and clumsy. As she treads water, Lou is a vision of grace but after coming in last to qualify for the Performance Training Camp, she now faces the prospect of life beyond the water. Lou is by far one of my favourite fictional characters, she's intelligent, hilarious and incredibly entertaining. Her inner monologue often refers to how awkward she feels as a young woman with an athletic body, she's not pa ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 out of 5 stars!

I would like to thank Maximum Pop Books, Walker Books and the author Nat Luurtsema for sending me a copy of Girl Out Of Water in exchange for an honest review.

For any fans of Louise Rennison, this book is perfect for you! It's heartwarming humor makes for a great teen read full of mishaps and mischief. Lou is a fifteen year old trying out for Team GB and the national swimming camp but when she fails to qualify and her best friend Hannah makes it, she finds herself friendless and
Jul 22, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016-releases
This was fun! A really cute premise and a voice that had sporadic hints of hilarity. If you liked sports-themed YAs, add this one to your TBR.
T.J. Burns
TJ's Time Travel Tips

Goldfish was not at all what I expected when I started reading. I expected Lou to come out of her shell a bit, I expected her to make a friend or two, and even meet a boy. But the rest? No frickin’ way! This story was amazing! So creative, so interesting – at so many levels. And exciting!

The brilliance lies in the narrative – the inner thoughts of Lou Brown. There is such a huge contrast between Lou’s thoughts (witty, original, and cr
I really enjoyed reading this young adult contemporary. It's a perfect summer read! I looooved Lou. Her humour is simply brilliant. I can't give five stars because in the end it got a bit too over the top for me but I will read the sequel for sure and I need to check out Nat Luurtsema's other books as well. ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
I loved this book. I have a lot of emotions right now, for personal reasons, and I am really thankful that in nearly 2 decades of swimming, I never had a "Debs". This book means a lot to me for a lot of reasons, and I will be writing a review soon that hopefully does it justice, as well as sharing some feelings about all the other stuff.

But until then? Add this to your TBR, basically.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
"You swim no one's race, but your own."

Entertaining, and quite funny. Very enjoyable.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Girl Out of Water has been on my hit list since I first heard the author read an excerpt from it at a blogger event last year so you can imagine my excitement when this book finally arrived in the post. I dropped everything to read it, and this review has been sitting for weeks waiting to be published. I could not even think about putting off the reading to a later date.

Lou and her friend try out for a High Performance Training Camp, which is the stepping stones to getting into Team GB. However,
Megan Openshaw
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read for Goodreads 2018 Summer Reading Challenge, Expert Level.
Sports-a-holic: Read a book that features a popular summer sport

A book about a summer sport, huh? Ummm...what DO people do in summer? Me? I sit around in the air conditioning and read. But if I did decide to leave my artificially cooled environment to brave too triple digit temperatures summer brings to southern California, I would be heading for the water. Ah, yes. Swimming. The perfect summer sport. Hence this book.

And this book. O
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A surprisingly funny, uplifting book that came out of nowhere! It had been sitting on my to-read shelf for more than 2 years and it never really caught my eye. And then when I started reading it, I pretty much finished it in one day.

The main character, Lou, is refreshingly unique, and although the book follows a pretty standard plot, it has so many laugh out loud moments that I can’t help but give it five stars. Having said that, the plot is actually quite unique as well. Yes, it’s a girl-overc
This review was originally posted on swimming2gif Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema was a cute story that offered some really great moments. It also offered some moments where I was super frustrated with the narrator. Lou had everything going for her. A great best friend, a possible Olympic level swimming career, a coach who believed in her. So going into the qualifiers for a prestigious training camp should have been the best day of her life. Instead, it changes everything. Lou’s path has chang ...more
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
NetGalley copy in exchange of an honest review.

Lou had it all planned in her head: at 15, she is the fastest swimmer in her county, and if she wins that very particular race, she might go to the Olympics. That’s the plan, that’s her dream.

But she finishes last in the race and her life changes completely, as she has to re-think everything through, and, most of all, overcome her shame and disappointment.

That first step is going back to a “normal” life.

And it’s not easy.

After a few trials and error
megan (soshibooks)
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
DISCLAIMER: I received a free eARC via NetGalley. This doesn't affect my opinions in any way.

3 stars.

I'm not too sure how I feel about this book or how to organize this review, so I'm just going to talk about what I liked and disliked about the characters and the plot.

CHARACTERS: Lou was hard for me to connect to, and I feel like we saw a lot of her personality which I enjoyed. However, I really disliked how she sort of just ignored Hannah at certain points in the book because she was jealous wh
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book free in an exchange for an honest review, thanks to Maximum Pop

OH GOD!!! This book was soooooo good! I loved reading every minute of it! Lou's character is so funny, I loved reading about all crazy and wildest thoughts! There was definitely some scenes were all you could do was laugh out loud! Like literally!

I feel like this book was close to another favourite by Sophie Kinsella, where the audience is constantly captivated and humoured by the main character!

I loved Lou, she
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There are funny books, and there are laugh out loud until your sanity is questioned books; this was the latter. Lou was extremely relatable in her awkwardness. The family dynamics were realistic and amusing, and when things got heavy, everyone was very supportive of each other. I want Lou’s sister. And her parents. Actually, let me just join her fami
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
{Many thanks to NetGalley for sending me an eARC of The Goldfish in exchange for an honest review. Find more reviews at}

Sometimes it's fun to just read a story. No gimmicks, no lofty concepts, and no inscrutable motivations. The reading experience of Nat Luurtsema's Goldfish was just that - a wonderful storytelling experience.

In the first few pages, we learn that Lou Brown is on her way to the Olympics, until she isn't. Her best friend heads off to swim for Team Great Britai
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it
It was okay. I really loved the author's sense of humor, and in turn, the sense of humor of the protagonist. But the writing style. Good lord, the comma splices and sentence flow was atrocious. And it really felt like the swimming plot was a bit forced and hard to believe. I don't actually think synchronized swimmers could audition for Britain's Got Talent. I just don't. The story arc wasn't strong enough. I really did like the main character though, and I connected with her struggle, so that's ...more
Snort-inducing fun from a narrator who is witty, yet troubled. Her antics with her secret coaching duties are explored alongside a number of other teenager concerns.

A terrific bunch of secondary characters, with decent (ie non stereotypical) adults. A relief.

Such a pleasure to read.
Eve beinguniquebooks
In this book we meet Lou an avid swimmer until she doesn't beat her record and fails to make her swim camp dream come true to possibly compete in the Olympics one day.

She fights off jealousy as her best friend and only friend from her school, Hannah makes the team and thus leaves her behind even though they keep in touch during the novel via text as Lou tries to make new friends and Hannah starts to suffer with mental and physical health and raises alarm bells on Lou.

As Lou awkwardly tries to ma
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-graphic, ya, voice, humor, life
For a book that opens with a life-altering, depression-inducing failure, this ends up being a whole lot of snarky, larky fun. It has excellent humor throughout and a few most unexpected, outrageous adventures, with enough seriousness to give it weight and some nicely drawn characters who grow. Most enjoyable.
Rose (Adventurous Bookworm)
Main character is a whiny, spoiled brat. She is so oblivious to everything but herself.
Dany Romero
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lou Brown, a high school er, moved to Essex England. He moved to a new school with new people to experience. Lou Brown sister lost in the Olympics when she could not make it while swimming in the Olympics.
Audrey Manley
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some people are not as they seem and you should never judge a book by it's cover are the themes of this book ...more
Veronica of V's Reads
I woke my hubs, twice, reading this book in bed and laughing uncontrollably.

Louise is a 15 y/o champion swimmer, dubbed "Goldfish" by her family for taking home so many gold medals, but she fails spectacularly at the youth time trials and doesn't get accepted the High Performance Training Center. Hannah, her BFF, does get accepted. Lou falls into a funk. Without swimming and without Hannah, Lou has no friends and no activities. She's lanky and odd, not perky and cute like her elder sister, Lave
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Nat Luurtsema is a BAFTA-nominated screenwriter, a BAFTA Rocliffe alumni, stand-up comic, author, actor and a third of sketch group Jigsaw.

She has just finished directing WYRDOES, a comedy feminist ‘Macbeth’, with backing from Film London, Film4 and the British Arts Council. It will be a part of the Shakespeare Lives worldwide tour, which will play to an audience of 500 million.

Nat plays Tallulah

Other books in the series

Girl out of Water (2 books)
  • Lou Out of Luck (Girl out of Water, #2)

News & Interviews

There's something so special about each class of debut YA authors; after all, young adult fiction is all about the hopefulness of new...
35 likes · 2 comments
“You swim no one's race but your own.” 2 likes
“New things always look weird to begin with. Imagine being the first monkey who grew a thumb. No one realized how useful that was going to be. They probably all ran around yelling, "Look at Clive's hand! It's icky, hit it with a rock!" Thousands of years later, we're texting with it and Clive has the last laugh.” 0 likes
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