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Girl Out of Water

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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?

350 pages, Paperback

First published May 2, 2017

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Laura Silverman

10 books738 followers

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5 stars
2,250 (35%)
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3 stars
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157 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,119 reviews
Profile Image for Leigh Bardugo.
Author 71 books155k followers
September 16, 2016
A woman should be free to speak her mind on twitter without being trolled, harassed, and subjected to the ugliest kind of racist rhetoric. I'll be pre-ordering this book.
Profile Image for S.
7 reviews2 followers
September 16, 2016
Laura Silverman is an incredible woman and fantastic author. At the moment, actual *literal* nazis are targeting her and spamming her reviews with *literal* nazi propaganda. Trust me when I say this woman is a force to be reckoned with and does not deserve this deplorable treatment. I have not yet read her book, but when it comes out I am buying a copy for me and all of my friends, because she is THAT good.

Please don't let the disgusting nature of the people attacking her sway you. They are trash, and she is absolutely wonderful.
Profile Image for Victoria Schwab.
Author 33 books104k followers
September 16, 2016
I haven't had the luxury of reading this book yet but neither have the nightmarish people engaging in a targeted campaign of abuse.
Profile Image for Ashli.
379 reviews13 followers
November 28, 2016
Girl Out of Water is a story about Anise and her summer away from home. The summer before her senior year of high school Anise is being forced to spend the summer helping care for her aunt that was severely injured in a car crash. She is also there to help take care of her three younger cousins. Anise had all kinds of plans for her summer and her friends. She is having a hard time getting over the fact that she won't be there to experience all those plans and that she will be leaving California (and her love of surfing) for the first time. Nebraska is a far cry from the beaches she is used to and at first she can't find any joy in being there (other than said cousins). However, during a trip to a skate park with her cousins she meets Lincoln. Lincoln is a very good skateboarder and he is missing one arm. Anise finds it hard to back down from a challenge that Lincoln lays on her. She also is learning how to navigate his disability since she does not know the right way to approach that conversation.

This book is a really good coming of age story for Anise. She has to come to grips about people changing (herself included) and learning that someone else's past (the mom that left her) does not dictate how she will turn out. Anise learns how not to be forgotten and what is really important. This is a great read about summer, friends, and first loves!
Profile Image for Kayla.
439 reviews8 followers
September 19, 2016
**Thank you to the author for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review.**

I don't think I've ever read a more perfect coming of age novel. You would never expect that GIRL OUT OF WATER is Laura Silverman's debut novel because it's as well-crafted and artfully developed as a seasoned author's best work. Her witty and diverse characters, punchy dialogue, and stimulating plot are comparable to those of Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything--another debut and one of my favorite books of 2015.

Anise Sawyer lives a life of sand and surf on the Santa Cruz coast. It's the last summer that all of her friends will be together before they head off to colleges or boot camp and leave Anise behind for her last year of high school. Anise's pull to the ocean is stronger than that of the moon on the tides. Nothing could stop her from spending every waking moment in the waves with her friends, especially her best friend, Eric, whose glistening abs and broad shoulders are suddenly much more attractive than she remembers. The summer is sure to heat up to be the best yet, until Anise's dad drops the devastating news: Anise's aunt was in a terrible car accident and will be recovering in the hospital for many weeks, leaving the "disastrous duo" (nine-year old twin boys) and an emotional preteen in need of supervision for the summer--the whole summer. With nothing to do in landlocked Nebraska and three restless kids to entertain, Anise finds an athletic outlet in the local skate park where her cousins, and a charming, one-armed hunk (with abs even more defined than Eric's), skate circles around her. Nothing can replace her love of Santa Cruz, but it's getting hazier in her memory as Nebraska offers familial bonds, new friendships, and more adventures than anticipated.

Unlike many YA novels, GIRL OUT OF WATER offers more than just a comment on young love and relationships--it deals with real issues like loss, abandonment, adversity, and change. It's relatable and truthful, and I have no doubts that this will top the bestseller lists. I can't wait for this to publish and to see what else Silverman creates.

Five glowing stars!

Profile Image for Serith.
263 reviews10 followers
Shelved as 'wanted'
January 8, 2017
[UPDATE: Threat neutralized. I'll move this to my wish list and edit when a real review is set to go~!]

Not moving this 5 star review till the trolls have been exterminated.
Profile Image for Jay Coles.
Author 15 books480 followers
August 28, 2016
GIRL OUT OF WATER is a gem of a debut novel, unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s a funny, adorable, nerdy, original, and deeply moving coming-of-age story about a surfer girl named Anise who is a very flawed protagonist who has to leave everything behind, including her friends that are about to go off into their separate paths and want so desperately to spend their last summer with her. Anise is forced to pack up her bags and move to Nebraska to take care of her aunt, who’s recently got in a car accident and broke both her legs. Anise is faced with challenges of self-discovery, identity, and dealing with two—arguably THREE— bratty cousins. This book feels as fresh as the calm waves mentioned throughout. The plot is well-paced, Silverman's writing is superbly clever, and should appeal to fans of Nicola Yoon, Rainbow Rowell and Robyn Schneider.

It’s a book about real issues: loss, staying true to yourself, family crises, abandonment, change, identity, flawed relationships, and so much more. From start to finish, it is a book that demands to be read in one sitting—it’s so good. Personally, I could not put it down, and I will forever carry Anise and all her friends and family members with me forever. They are so real, their personalities and feelings are so raw, and are all-together worth remembering. Still can’t stop thinking about the ending of this deeply satisfying book.

So humbled and honored to have been able to read an early version, cannot wait for everyone else to meet Anise, Eric, Lincoln, Tess, Emery, and the others! :)

(Side note: This book also has my favorite kissing scene!)
Profile Image for Bonnie.
3 reviews4 followers
May 9, 2017
Disclaimer: I am the authors mother. Even so I promised Laura I'd come at this with an objective viewpoint. About one year ago I read only the first three chapters and have been waiting with baited breath for the rest of the book. Yesterday I finally got to read Girl Out of Water start to finish! Throughout the book I looked forward to seeing what would happen next. It's one of those books that's just a good story. You will feel a host of emotions during your read. I'd recommend this book to young teens as well as an adult audience. Why, because Anise (main character) is someone that anyone can relate to whether the reader is her age or the reader is taking a trip back in time. It's written in a way that Anise's struggles will resonate with many readers in her summer journey to find out why she feels the way she feels, how she relates to relationships and what truly motivates her choices, fears securities and insecurities. In my unbiased opinion, well done Laura! PS I had to mention that I absolutely fell in love with Lincoln's character as well. Wish I was his mom!
Profile Image for Lauren.
60 reviews
April 30, 2017
From the opening scene to closing chapter, I could not put Girl Out of Water down! The author totally puts the reader into Anise's mind and paints a wonderful narrative through her eyes. Loved how the plot always leads you in an unexpected direction. Great debut novel from a incredibly talented author!
Profile Image for Tamora Pierce.
Author 106 books83.5k followers
September 16, 2016
This book isn't out yet, but I will buy it. I will read it. Why? Because people tried to do a pile-on due to the writer's politics, not the quality of her book. They *lied* about reading it. Last I checked, people could write whatever they wished to in this country--it's in the constitution. Read your Constitution (especially that pesky Billy of Rights thing). If you don't like what you read, write something of you own. That's how it works--not through censorship.
Profile Image for BookChic Club.
470 reviews293 followers
September 16, 2016
Following in Hannah's footsteps and am putting in a preliminary star rating here to counteract the bigoted folks trying to tear down this book's star rating because of the author's last name (aka no good reason). I am now making it a point to read this book when it comes out (or if I can get a review copy in my hands) and putting up a real review as soon as I'm able. I urge you all to do the same.
Profile Image for K.
12 reviews17 followers
August 24, 2016
So let me open by saying that I read all of Girl Out of Water in one go. Barring a natural disaster or unexpected company, that’s pretty much my metric for how engaging, immersive, and enjoyable I find a novel. And, guys, Girl Out of Water is SO ENJOYABLE!

It started with the imagery. Laura Silverman has a way with words that’s both subtle and striking. Dialogue, description — doesn’t matter. She’s got a gift when it comes to sentence structure. But, honestly, it’s the characters that really shine here for me.

Anise and Lincoln are absolute LIGHTS. No spoilers, but both characters drive so much of this novel (in a very good way). I wish I’d gotten to read more characters like Anise and Lincoln growing up, to be honest. The diversity here was a breath of fresh air in the YA genre. Lincoln, in particular, felt so important to me — a one-armed, black teen who is created with intersectional awareness and stands up as his own person, not just a means of propelling the main character (Anise) forward. He’s also absolutely stupidly charismatic and pretty much my absolute favorite. Anise, as well, is incredibly nuanced. She grapples with so much: family, home, belonging, her place(s). Saying that this is a story about her “growing up” or fighting with selfishness is too one-note. Her growth throughout the novel is more than that; it’s moving without being formulaic, it’s layered, and it’s real.

Read this book, you guys. You won't regret it.
Profile Image for Rachel.
76 reviews36 followers
September 16, 2016
I haven't actually read this yet but Laura Silverman needs our help. We can't let such disgusting abuse and hate go without action. It's not right and i won't stand for it.
Profile Image for Ceillie Simkiss.
Author 9 books90 followers
May 23, 2017
Originally rated it five stars in an attempt to combat a disgusting attack on Laura's character from Twitter asshats. Now that I've read it, it definitely warrants every star.
Read my full review here!
Profile Image for Brie.
Author 17 books105 followers
September 16, 2016
This book is amazing, as is the author. I support her and her book and can't wait to champion it in 2017 and beyond.
Profile Image for Jody Casella.
Author 1 book101 followers
September 16, 2016
What is happening to this author and her book-- a book that is not even out yet-- is appalling.
1 review
August 26, 2016
This beautiful, engrossing story grips you from page one, plunging you into the heart and mind of the main character as she struggles with the fear of becoming her mother and the turmoil of leaving home for the first time. With loveable, endearing characters and vivid prose, Girl Out of Water is an excellent read that is hard to put down.
757 reviews2,348 followers
February 19, 2018
Everyone's been rating this five stars just to support the author with the whole trolls situation, but I refused to rate this at all because that's a bullshit way to support. Come and fight me on this. The best way to support the author was to take down those fucking trolls, which has been done. Books should be rated after being read and having formed your own opinions about them.

Honestly, just stop rating a book 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 stars IF YOU HAVEN'T FUCKING READ IT. It's not that hard, why don't you go try that?

I've been meaning to read this for a while and give it a fair rating. I rated this book four stars because it was absolutely incredible. I didn't have much expectations for this one because summer contemporaries are not my thing, but this book really surprised me.

The story is about Anise, a seriously amazing surfer who has to leave the beach and her home to move to Nebraska for the last summer she had to spend with her friends before they all move away for college. Her aunt was badly injured in a serious accident so Anise and her father move to help out her and her three kids. Having to move to Nebraska also means having to face the hometown of her shit-of-an-excuse-of-a-mother's memories.

●I loved so many things about this book and one of them were character growth. Anise has to come to terms with leaving behind her friends (abandoning her loved ones, which is what her mother does to her) and sacrificing her own happiness for family who needs her. All of this leads to a very satisfying ending which may have bought me to tears. (I'm not going to admit anything.) At first, Anise was pissing me off with her "LET ME FUCKING SURF, I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE" attitude, but she really grew afterwards.

There's also POC and disability rep without it being a big deal and taking a whole chunk of the plot. It's so casual and naturally woven into the story, it's honestly impossible not to love the book at this point. Lincoln is a black, one armed skater. He's hilarious, kind, charming and such a sweet soul.

●The relationship between Anise and her father is freaking magnificent. He communicates with his daughter, they talk about their feelings and they have this sense of "closeness." Heck he talks to his daughter about sex and protection. He cares for her well being and he's always there for Anise. I seriously fucking loved their relationship and I want more of this, thanks.

●There's also a lot of focus on surfing and skating, which I loved! The first couple of chapters are about Anise surfing and it was very fun to read about. I can't surf for shit so reading about someone who can, makes up for that, lmao. And the skating scenes were so on point!! I remember my friend teaching me how to skate and I fell on my ass and scraped knees all the time. Reading about Anise's struggles about skating felt so real. It's relatable.

-Anise's love for her home and the beach is so refreshing. She has so much love for surfing, the beach, her home and it made me want to hit the beach and try some surfing!!! (Lbr, I would probably die)

●Also there's a really cute ff couple at the end. The only sad thing is that we don't get to see much of them. :(

My only problem with the book was the slow pacing towards the beginning.

Overall, I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a summer contemporary. It's perfect.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 18 books412 followers
September 16, 2016
Love the author's first name.

(Proper review once the book is out)
Profile Image for Martina Boone.
Author 12 books1,989 followers
September 16, 2016
Thank you to the trolls who have put this book on my radar. I'm proud of the YA community for coming together to ensure that individuals or small groups with an agenda cannot engage in a hate campaign to achieve the ends they're aiming for. One-starring books on Goodreads is not a response that can be allowed to stand as it effects not only one author, but the publisher and therefore the possibility of other books being published. It's an effort to silence speech in a land where that freedom is one of the most treasured pillars of society.

I'm posting a five star rating now, and will read as soon as the book comes out in the hope that it will encourage us all to engage in debate in more appropriate venues.
Profile Image for Denisa.
323 reviews32 followers
Want to read
July 5, 2016
I read the description just now and teared up a little bit-- both from excitement and the fact that I know that this book that's going to make me feel a LOT. This book is something I NEED and WANT and just MUST HAVE as soon as possible, okay? Okay.
1 review
September 16, 2016
I haven't read this yet, but people on the internet have taken offense from it so I am sure it is not only well written and interesting but also intriguing and challenging of our current social norms. This is a book I would love to read and would recommend to anyone.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
851 reviews3,880 followers
February 15, 2021

Some books are dangerous because they make me want to try surfing or skating and then there's this (not so little) voice in my head yelling NO, ANNA! because my coordination skills are... okay, okay, inexistent.

Girl Out of Water is one of them. But let's present you 6 reasons why you should give it a try, shall we?

Anise is a fantastic MC and I want to hug her (alright, she's so relatable to me that it might make this hug-thing weird but HEY) ~ every one of her thoughts - her doubts, her fears, her needs - rang so true and I just loved her, alright? I particularly enjoyed that she could be confident, even a little bit arrogant, and yet... doubt herself all the same. Too often authors seem to forget that characters' self-esteems are actually allowed to be complex and ... changing, which makes really hard for me to connect with them. None of this here. I understood her. She felt so real, how could I not?

Diversity as it should be, that is to say : neither token POC friends nor whitewashed world, but a realistic portrayal of the fantastic diversity of the real world (Anise's best friend is Samoan, the love-interest is black and disabled, and two of her close friends are lesbian) ~ none of their marginalization is used as a plot-device thank you thank you thank you ;

Accurate portrayal of the never-ending energy of 9 years old. THANK YOU. It seems like a given but trust me, it isn't. Every time I read about children that age I kinda frown in confusion because my pupils can't be the only ones who never stop talking and moving and asking questions and negotiating and

SPOILER ALERT : They're not ;

➍ Of the importance of friendship and family ~ We definitely need more of these awesome characters dynamics in YA, especially between teenagers and adults (but not only : I also loved seeing her getting closer to Emery, her young cousin). Yet I firmly believe that if people we care about - and the love we share - are of great importance for our personal growth and the way we build ourselves, we also need alone times to discover who we are, and Anise's story did a great job at portraying that in my opinion.

LINCOLN! Absolutely adorable + made me smile = my unconditional approval ~ Not to mention that there was no instalove between Anise and him, but rather a progressive and believable (and adorable - did I say adorable?) growth of their feelings for each other.

Girl Out of Water is a very well-written and compelling novel ~ it's very character-driven but I wasn't bored one second and it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a YA Contemporary from start to finish. A VERY long time, okay?

Honestly, if you like cute and realistic summer reads, I can't recommend Laura Silverman's debut enough.

*arc kindly provided by Sourcebooks through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,743 reviews5,283 followers
November 22, 2017
There are some unmarked spoilers, but it's not really the kind of book where anything is a "twist", so... continue at your own discretion?

I honestly tried to salvage my thoughts into something USEFUL, but this review would be better described as a rant. If you're the type of GR user who loves salty tangents, please keep reading.

It's the summer before Anise's senior year, and she's got to make this summer count: she's going to spend every waking moment catching waves, spending time with her very best friends, and planning the annual Surf Break event that draws tourists from all around to Santa Cruz to watch great surf and even better bands. It's going to be a summer to remember... until Anise's aunt Jackie is hospitalized due to an accident, and her father is dragging her out to Nebraska to take care of her young cousins. For the entire summer. How can Anise survive a summer without her unofficial family, the salt water, and the childhood BFF who's suddenly catching her eye?

This book was an incredibly quick and easy read, but that isn't necessarily a compliment in this review. Maybe I've become jaded by the amounts of fantasy I've been reading lately, but this just feels so overly casual. The banter feels incredibly forced at times, like there's just this really concerted effort to convince the reader that this is just a couple of teenagers chatting with each other, but it didn't come across well at all for me. There's so much filler material in the dialogue!

There are honestly so many things I could say about how much I hated Anise's character, but I'll just stick to a few main points. Still... buckle up, y'all.

• She’s incredibly self-centered and rude. She spends the majority of the book moping about one thing or another, whether it’s having to take care of her cousins, having to help her aunt, staying in the house her mother grew up in, being away from the beach, skateboarding… I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt for the first 30% or so of the book, and kept chalking it up to, “she’s just being written as a melodramatic teen!” but this was honestly too much.

• She refuses to believe that anything on the planet could hold a candle to her beloved surfing. She literally goes on multiple inner and outer tangents about how pathetic every sport is compared to surfing, and how surfing is soooo much harder than everything anyone else does… until she tries skateboarding, which just leads her to complain about how hard skateboarding is, and how lame it is… until she magically is a pro skateboarder after SEVEN DAYS of practice, and then overnight, it becomes the most amazing thing ever and she’s a born-again evangelist of the religion of the Almighty Skate Park.

• She literally kisses her LIFELONG BEST FRIEND right before she leaves, knowing she’s about to leave, and then within five minutes of meeting Lincoln, it’s like, “who the hell is Eric?” and she stops responding to any of his messages or even making any attempt at all to salvage their friendship?

• Actually, on that note, she bails on ALL of her friends and manages to completely alienate every last one of them. Of course, by the end, everyone has forgiven her and pretends nothing happened (including Eric, who, you know, spent the entire summer waiting for her to come back so they could resume their budding relationship but lol NOPE she’s ~in love~ with Lincoln!).

• Despite her insistence that Lincoln is basically The Greatest Dude Ever, she treats him like complete garbage. He tries to cheer her cousins up? She yells at him. He offers to spend his money to drive her to Santa Cruz in time for Surf Break? She spends the entire trip sulking and moping and treating him like garbage. He goes to Surf Break and tries to hang out with her friends? She gets wasted and ditches him for the entire evening. LINCOLN, RUN. JUST RUN.

Sorry... I had a lot of feelings about her.

Lincoln and Tess are enjoyable characters. They're both really sweet and way more patient than Anise has ever deserved for a moment in her life, thank you very much. Anise's dad is also a patron saint and he has these fantastic heart-to-hearts with her that actually portrayed a healthy, loving father/daughter relationship, which I don't see nearly often enough in YA contemporaries.

The ending. I mean, there's this huge build-up over whether or not Anise and Lincoln will be able to survive the distance, with her in Santa Cruz and him in Nebraska. Despite Lincoln's very obvious and intentional efforts to get close to Anise and to offer himself to her as legitimate relationship material, she just keeps telling herself that there's no way they can make it as a couple because he wants to explore the world and she doesn't. I mean, I know they're just a casual summer fling couple, but if you're going to keep telling the reader that you're head over heels for the kid, the least you could do is act it.

I digress. The ending is so open and just... nothing gets resolved, at all. We have no clue what will happen between Anise and Lincoln, plus Anise's first conversation with Eric after she gets home basically consists of her ogling him, which felt a bit tasteless given the fact that she showed serious interest in him and then ditched him and led him on while she chased another guy?

Also, there's this whole big story arc regarding Anise's mother, who basically only shows up once every few years, for a few days at a time, before disappearing again. No phone calls, no letters, just the occasional postcard with no return address or phone number or anything. It's bizarre enough that we're told Anise's father just accepts all of this as normal familial behavior, but to make matters worse, we spend the entire book hearing about Anise's mom and how she's probably going to show up at Aunt Jackie's house as some sort of surprise visitor, and then... nothing happens. NADA.

I would not recommend this book to you unless you just really love surfing and/or skateboarding, and don't mind really obnoxious narrators. The only reason I gave this 2 stars instead of 1 is because Lincoln is amazing POC rep and disability rep and I loved his lil' cinnamon roll self.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this ARC! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Profile Image for Katie McGarry.
Author 26 books12.8k followers
September 16, 2016
I haven't read this book yet and I typically don't star books I haven't read, but my heart hurts with so much hate this book is getting and it hasn't been released at all yet, not even in advance reviewer format. I believe love is stronger than hate. Love. This world needs more love.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,119 reviews

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