“I tell her I’m going to stop training, and how it’s actually exciting because maybe I’ll find something I’m really good at… Hannah chews thoughtfully…’The thing is,’ she says, ‘you’ve been swimming since you were, like, eight…? ‘Seven,’ I correct her. ‘Right. So there’s so many options you haven’t explored!’… she’s so excited by how brilliant I’m going to be. It makes me feel tired and irritable and not very brilliant.”
– Nat Luurtsema, Girl Out of Water
Stars in her eyes, water in her ears, boys on her nerves… Lou Brown is out of her depth.
A thoroughly British teen comedy starring a hilariously flawed heroine with a quip for every occasion perfect for fans of Holly Smale, Holly Bourne, Caitlin Moran and Sophie Kinsella. Lou Brown s life is going down the pan. Best friend Hannah sailed through the Olympic time trials and is off to her fancy-pants new swim training school, while Lou s own failure to qualify leaves her without a hobby or a friend. As Lou tries to navigate her post-swim world, a chance encounter with three boys with stars in their eyes takes her life in a surprising new direction. One that leads to a crazy world of underwater somersaults, talent show auditions, bitchy girls and one great big load of awkward boy chat.
Every now and then, you need a book to lighten the mood and leave you giggling on public transport. I quite enjoy being that person who laughs out aloud on the train… I like to think people are envious that I’m having a good time with my book 😉 Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema is a funny exploration of the awkward teenage years and the navigational skills needed for making it through the ever changing social and personal expectations.
When fifteen-year-old Lou Brown doesn’t perform as she expected at the Olympic time trials and misses out on the high performance training camp, she finds herself in a post-swimming world without a coach, a hobby and her best (and only) friend, Hannah. Lou must navigate life and school without the all-consuming swimming timetable and work out who she is away from it all. In her attempt to make friends, she ends up coaching three boys – Roman, Pete and Gabe – in synchronised swimming (because dancing on land won’t get them a coveted spot in a televised talent show). There is one hilarious disaster after another; will Lou and the boys achieve their goals?
Girl Out of Water is brilliant in its own way. It is what I classify as light relief; it reminds me of Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging. Lou is an awkward teen who is funny without intentionally trying to be. Her life is crazy – her sister pretends they aren’t related, her divorced parents still live together and Hannah appears to be losing the plot. She is also a social outcast at school… She has no idea who she is outside of the pool! Roman, Pete and Gabe are popular, handsome and broody – is there any other way in YA? Despite the dysfunctional nature of Lou’s family, I love that they have a strong presence throughout the book! Parents are commonly absent in YA fiction and so it is nice to see a teen with a curfew and parents to threaten to pick her up in their pyjamas if she doesn’t comply! Parents are a source of embarrassment for teens – because teens are SO cool themselves – and it really makes me laugh to see something so ‘normal’ in a YA book. I love it!
Girl out of Water is a silly yet endearing story with plenty of laugh out aloud moments. It is genuinely heart-warming and will leave you with a smile on your face! What more could you ask for?!
AUTHOR: Nat Luurtsema
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
PUB DATE: August 2016
Thank you to Walker Books for sending me a reading copy in exchange for an honest review!