IF I WENT TO NEBRASKA: Girl Out of Water Review

Summary:Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before senior year in Santa Cruz with her surfboard and best friends constantly in tow. But when her aunt gets into a near-fatal car accident, Anise must relocate with her dad to Nebraska for the season to help care for her three younger cousins. With the ocean as her home and heart, Anise feels lost as ever in landlocked Nebraska. Especially since she’s staying in the childhood home of her runaway mom, who’s been in out and Anise’s life forever, and her friends seem to be having a great summer without her. Enter the charismatic, one-armed skateboarder, Lincoln, who challenges Anise to trade her surfboard for a skateboard. And Anise isn’t one to step away from a challenge, even it means stepping further away from home.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars


My Thoughts:

May is the official start of summer contemporary season for this reader. And I don’t know how I avoided picking up Laura Silverman’s Girl Out of Water last summer. Girl Out of Water would honestly be the title of a book following ME if you moved me from my hometown for the summer. I am very fortunate to live right on the coast, and I can’t ever wrap my mind NOT living near the water. What do people do all year in the summer then?? Lucky for me, Anise gave me a taste of what it’s like to move away from the ocean for the summer without having to do so myself.

While I don’t have Anise’s amazing surfboarding skills, or skateboarding skills, or balance skills really, I can definitely relate to her love for the ocean.

It was fun seeing Anise in her “natural habitat” in the beginning of the book, but we’re soon transported to Nebraska with Anise and her dad. While Anise isn’t exactly happy about leaving her friends and Santa Cruz for the summer, she isn’t a brat about the situation, knowing that her family needs her. And as much as I love a good beach read about the beach, it was really refreshing to read a summer contemporary that didn’t take place at the beach/pool/lake/ANYWHERE WITH WATER, REALLY. Although a certain duo do find a lake with a nice rope swing in this one…

I genuinely enjoyed Anise as our main protagonist. She cares so much for her friends and family, and the girl can eat!! I know that seems like such a random thing to like an MC for, but I can so relate to Anise’s food cravings, especially after sports practice and working out. Even though I admit that I’m a bit intimidated by a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, and Cocoa Puffs. And like I said above, Anise doesn’t mind being with her cousins for the summer, especially when a certain skateboarder by the name of Lincoln comes along. It was fun seeing Anise join in on her cousins’ skateboarding obsession. It also felt really unique, since, correct me if I’m wrong, skateboarding seems to have become a little less popular these days. Also, give me all the female characters who can surf and/or skateboard please! Just don’t make me join in. I have horrible memories of tearing up my feet and knees trying to board at a family barbecue. Shoes probably would have helped though.. and balance…


I enjoyed Lincoln as Anise’s friend and yes, love interest. Laura Silverman provides great representation and never limits what Lincoln can do. After all, he is the best skateboarder in the book. I think Anise wouldn’t argue with that one, but surfboarding on the other hand… He really helps Anise break out of her Santa Cruz shell , and he shows her “the beauty” within life in Nebraska. Honestly, Lincoln showed me that Nebraska isn’t just a bunch of cornfields and grass. It was also fun to see him and his brother help Anise and her cousins and break Anise out of her homesickness.

While I understand Anise’s guilt about not constantly staying in touch with her friends back home, her friends needed to give her a break, especially at the end! If you spent every day constantly taking care of three kids and finally got time to yourself, you wouldn’t be exactly be in the mood to talk when given some kids-free time either (take it from a fellow ocean girl with plenty of babysitting experience). All you want to do is kick back up with a good book, and for Anise, it’s The Office and cheesy mystery novels.

Overall, I loved Girl Out of Water for its unique summery contemporary vibes. There’s family, friendship, romance, self-discovery, and plenty of beach time and skateboarding for all.

Have you read Girl Out of Water? Do you enjoy summer contemporaries? Share in the comments!

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