My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 feel kind of shy going into this review because I know a lot of people really loved it. Well I didn’t hate it and I enjoyed parts of it but overall, it’s an okay book for me. It has a great concept with interesting characters.
I had high expectations before reading this, I’ve read reviews about it and seen it around Twitter so I was really excited and hyped up. The first few chapters were really good, it’s really a promising summer read with all the surfing, waves, and sun.
The story follows Anise, our competitive surfer girl, as she goes through a summer she would never have thought of. Here’s the thing, her Aunt with three children got into an almost fatal accident so Anise and her father is forced to go to Nebraska to help them for the summer. Which means Anise is forced to give up her summer with her waves and friends. She’s literally a girl out of water and taken to an unknown dry land.
There were times that I really felt for Anise like whenever she’s struggling with the thought of becoming like her absent mother. I love how she’s determined and competitive! She turned from a surfer to a skater real quick, she got some serious skills. Her relationship with her family, which includes the one with her aunt and cousins, is the best. I love how she tried to understand her pre-teen cousin, Emery, and did her best to reach out to her. Basically, Anise is a great and well-written main character.
That being said, the story has a great focus on her family life. She’s close and open to both her father and aunt. The whole family dynamics especially the bond between Anise and her cousins was heartwarming. I like how the author handle the issue with Anise’s absent mother, how significant this figure is to her character development.
For the romance part, Lincoln and his dimple are both addictive and endearing. Aside from his dimple, his confidence is his selling point. The romance developed nicely and the pacing was perfect.
After all these praise, why did I only gave this 3-stars? First thing that I didn’t quite like is the relationship of Anise and her friends. They’re apparently a close-knitted group of friends for over the years, but I didn’t feel that. I felt like her friends could have been more understanding on the overall situation, Anise wasn’t the best also with communication but I don’t know…if I were one of her friends I think that I would get her more. So yeah, the whole friendship drama felt off to me.
Next is the ending, it was very abrupt and the resolution was inadequate. There were still a lot of loose ends, some might like this “open-ended” story but I felt cheated. Primarily because I didn’t fell any assurance at Anise and Lincoln’s relationship, like will LDR work for them or will it only be a summer thing?
Other than that, the book is definitely worth the read! The writing was simple yet compelling. Overall, Girl Out of Water can be your next summer read—it’s diverse, fresh, and just the perfect read at the beach.
Thank you so much Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an eARC of this book.