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 this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Girl Out of Water is a cute, summery read. I read it in about five hours. Everything about it was very light and cute- the romance, the characters, the crazy younger twin cousins. But that is all this book was for me- cute.
The story opens with Anise Sawyer surfing with her friends in Santa Cruz, her home of seventeen years. Anise is an easy-going, likeable girl. She loves her friends, her dad, her surfing, and she loves her home in Santa Cruz. When her dad finds out that their aunt was in a serious car accident and will not be able to take care of her three children while she is recovering, Anise’s life is uprooted as she is forced to spend the summer in Nebraska. While she adores her younger cousins, Anise will miss the last summer with her friends and she feels like she will be missing out on memories with her group. We also learn a little about Anise’s mother, who has been in and out of her life since she was born. Going back to Nebraska brings back a lot of complicated feelings Anise has about her mother.
After spending some time in Nebraska, Anise meets Lincoln. Okay, Lincoln was pretty cute with his self-assured smile and adorable dimple. I love how they went on adventures and ran through the grocery store picking out the “best” food. I enjoyed the romance between these two, even if the ending was a little underwhelming for me.
Lincoln was a unique character. One-armed with chunky black glasses and a sleeveless flannel, he certainly caught my interest. I feel like there was so much to his character- his multi-cultural family, moving around the US for his mother’s job- that could have been developed more. Anise was also a charming character, I adored her sailor’s mouth and her relationship with her father. I felt for her when she reflected on her conflicting feelings about her mother, but I just kept waiting for something to happen. Maybe that was the point of the story- just to be a light, coming-of-age summer romance.
The story itself was fine, I just had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. I usually like light, happy reads..but this was a little too light for me. I like my contemporary stories with a little more substance to them. Not much happened during this story. Anise lives in Santa Cruz, Anise moves to Nebraska and is upset about it, Anise takes care of her cousins, Anise meets Lincoln…and that’s pretty much it. I overall enjoyed the story and did fly through the book, but after the last page I was left feeling like I wanted something more.