Recent Posts

Friday, April 07, 2017

Review - Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: By Your Side
Author: Kasie West
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: January 31st, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.

Buy Links: Amazon
3.5 “Surfing x Skateboarding” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank You, Sourcebooks Fire!

I’ve had Girl on Fire on my Kindle for a while, but I decided to wait until a bit closer to publication date to read this. That gorgeous cover made ignoring it a little harder each time I got a glimpse at it.

This is the story of Californian, surfer girl, Anise, who loves the ocean more than anything. She’s super excited about the prospect of spending all summer with her best friends surfing until some of them have to leave for college. She’s also looking forward to exploring these new feelings for her recently single male best friend.  Summer is looking bright, until her Dad informs her about her aunt’s accident. Now Anise is forced to leave everything she loves behind to go help her aunt recover, and she’s obviously less than pleased about it.

The big theme in this book is how Anise’s relationship (or lack thereof) with her mother influences her life. Anise’s mother is a real bitch, if you ask me, because the woman can’t be bothered to care for her daughter enough to keep in touch with her while she travels the country (maybe the world?) looking for the next adventure. I felt sorry for both Anise and her Dad. Her mother is even a bigger asshole because she comes back into their lives when she feels like it just to leave again. So you see, Anise has a real problem with people leaving. That’s also one of the reasons why she’s scared of leave her friends behind.

Anise’s fear is explored to the maximum in this story, which is a positive and a negative thing. I like when characters have a strong background that explains their insecurities and helps the reader understand why they act the way they do. Anise’s action are often ruled by her fear of turning into her mother, and it’s a pretty reasonable fear all considered. The problem is the book spends way too much time on that single theme. After a while, it just got tiresome.

Sure there were other distractions, like Anise’s great relationship with her father (I loved how open, honest and friendly they were), with her cousins and, later on, with Lincoln. There was also the whole battle between surfing x skateboarding that I thought was quite interesting. I loved how the author had her female character be good at these sports that are often played by boys without making it a big deal. Still, I think these aspects needed to be better developed in order to take away from the whole “my mom sucks” theme, which grew a little too heavy after a while.

The characters were likable enough, despite my lack of connection with Anise. I thought she was a good leading character, but she lacked some of that extra factor to make her great. I think I liked Lincoln more than Anise, if I’m being completely honest. He had a fire to him that Anise lacked.

Here I have to congratulate the author on her respectful approach on disability. She portrayed Lincoln beautifully, and I was extremely happy to see a disabled POC as the love interest. I definitely want to see more characters like him in books.

My only issue with the romance was that I thought Anise should’ve made the connection between Lincoln’s way of living with her mother’s. They were both free spirits looking to explore the world, so I thought that should’ve had an impact on Anise. She never seemed to register this similarity, though, which I found super weird considering Anise was also so focused on how her mother’s actions affected her life.

I appreciated Anise’s arc, though. I thought she grew considerably throughout the story, and I was proud of her for putting herself out there and apologizing to the people she hurt, whether she did that intentionally or not.

The ending was a little lackluster for me. I understand that this is just the beginning of Anise’s life, but I was expecting something more exciting or at least something that would give me a little insight on the future. It almost felt like there was a page missing.

Overall, Girl out of Water was a solid book. The writing was good, the characters were likable and the themes were strong. It lacked that extra something that makes me fall hard for a story, but it was a pleasant read.

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

No comments: