Title: Girl Out of Water
Author: Nat Luurtsema
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Humour
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  I am Lou Brown: Social Outcast, Precocious Failure, 5’11” and still growing.
I was on the fast track to Olympic super-stardom.  Now I’m training boys too cool to talk to me.  In a sport I’ve just made up.
My Life has gone weird very quickly.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  15 year old Lou (Louise) Brown was on her way to Olympic stardom.  But when her friend succeeds and she fails to qualify in the swimming try outs, life changes very quickly.  With no more swim training and now no friends, Lou is determined to make the best of school and make new friends.  All very easy when you’re a social outcast!

This book is very funny and the perfect YA novel for those who want to laugh out loud which I did at some points.  I could relate to Lou’s character right away being a bit of a social outcast myself when I was at school.  The whole book is told with a lot of humour and it’s very easy to read.  The story is written in the first person perspective and Lou is constantly making funny remarks and jokes which keeps the whole tone of the book light despite the different socially traumatic things that happen to her.

As well as the first person perspective this book is also told in the present tense.  This is something I wasn’t used to when I started reading this and I’ll admit I didn’t like it at first.  The opening chapters were especially difficult to read as the main character Lou doesn’t interact with anyone yet and so there are a lot of sentences ‘I… I… I…’, it just sounded excessive and was less noticeable in later chapters.  However as the story progressed, and maybe my brain got used to it too, I found this present tense easier to read and by the end of the book it didn’t bother me at all.  In fact some of the scenes had a feeling of urgency in them due to this present tense.

This book is funny and some of the things that happen border on unbelievable.  The characters also have less depth than some books but for a humour book I think this can be excused.  This novel, and the humour, will really appeal to younger teens and pre-teens.  I’m not sure how many adults or older teens would enjoy it as it depends on whether you enjoy and can relate to a slightly immature teenage girl and her social problems in today’s schools.  There is nothing offensive in this book but there is a lot of modern shortened text speak and I have to admit I took a few minutes to work out what some of the words meant such as tbh (to be honest).

This is a funny book which I’m sure many younger teens will enjoy and any adults who can relate it’s not as funny as the second book in the series but still good.  The ending of the main story is predictable but is still a satisfying one.  There is an epilogue but I felt it was unnecessary and if it had to be there I expected a longer one as this ended too quickly.  I also think the over use of the word ‘I’ in the first chapters makes this book hard to get into (it just sounds a little awkward to me) but it’s still a funny read if you like the slightly daft humour.

-Review first appeared online in July 2016 – Now republished and slightly edited here.

Read review of book 2 – Lou Out of Luck by clicking here.


Do you like this book?  What about other humorous novels?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂