Thursday, 2 June 2016

Review: Girl Out Of Water by Nat Luurtsema

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.

Back in October 2015 I attended the Walker Blogger Brunch and was lucky enough to hear Nat Lurrtsema read from her new novel Girl Out Of Water. There is something special about seeing an author who is particularly good at performing their work. It feels very intimate and authentic - and in Nat's case, hugely funny. As she very well should be as a Bafta nominated comedy writer and an actress. But it goes beyond Nat's ability to do a dramatic reading, as I discovered when I read the rest of the book. This is a milk-out-the-nose funny slice of normal life, with synchronised swimming and a TV talent show thrown in for good measyre. There is something about this book that reads like a very long but hugely enjoyable stand up sketch from a hilarious teenage comedian.

The awkward physical comedy moments are a laugh a minute and Lou’s dry, teenage sarcasm is utterly on point. Not since Lobsters have I smiled and laughed so much while reading a YA book. To be totally honest, people on the tube thought I was utterly crazy, smiling away to myself like the Cheshire Cat.

I'll admit that I am a picky reader, it takes damn near perfection for me to love something. And though I may have niggling, teeny tiny criticisms about the 'contrived' situation or convenient teenage boy characters, these are me forcing out criticisms for contrary's sake. I utterly loved this book. I loved the realism (a divorced family who still live together), the characters (Lou is brilliantly awkward and captures the gawky teen I think we all were at heart not to mention her sister Lav who is in equal measure bitchy and sweet as all sisters are), the ingeniously unique and relate-able inciting incident (synchronised swimming at a TV talent show a la BGT. I mean... where even did that idea come from Nat?!).

Eugh guys, I'm not eloquent enough to put into more detailed words how much I enjoyed this, just go read it! It's great! So great in fact that I'm going to do something I've never done on this blog before. 


That's right bitches, 5 stars! (warning - reading Girl Out of Water may cause unnecessary and out of character sassiness). But it was just so brilliant that I can't not! I really do hope that Nat continues to write in this genre for a very long time and become the Louise Rennison of the next generation. Just saying... 

Bookish love, 

Rach xx

I received a copy of Girl Out of Water from Walker Books in exchange for my honest and very ravey reviews. 

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