Friday, 26 December 2014
Early Review: Fish Out of Water by Natalie Whipple
When Natalie put the call out looking for early reviews I did not hesitate in completing the form, and crossing my fingers that UK entries were accepted. A few weeks later I got an email with a copy of Fish Out of Water for review, and I wanted to drop everything to make a start on it.
Fish Out of Water follows Mika as she spends her summer dealing with a new employee at her work, an absent grandmother who has dementia, and to top it all off, her best friend moving.
Mika Works at AnimalZone's Aquatics, and had plans to join her parents during the summer, and work at Monterey Bay Aquarium, however the arrival of her Grandmother puts a halt to these plans, and Mika find herself being a babysitter for her Grandmother who she has never met before, and who is extremely racist. Not only is Mika having to deal with her Grandmother, she also has an arrogant co-worker, the nephew of her boss, to deal with too.
When I began reading Fish Out of Water I wondered what the book was about, and obviously with the whole marine biologist as parents, and the slight obsession with fish, you can see how this title links with the story. However as the book progressed I actually got the meaning of the book. Mika literally feels like a fish out of water in a lot of ways, with her relationship with her Grandmother and her illness, with her friends and feeling abandoned by them, and also with Dylan and their budding friendship, even more so when she finds out where he came from.
Fish Out of Water tackles a lot of issues within the pages, and I found it easy to become emotionally invested in Mika and really feel for what she has to deal with. My heart broke for the verbal abuse she received off her Grandmother, for feeling like her parents didn't really understand her, and for never really knowing where she stood with Dylan most of the time, although I really did want to kick his ass for some of the ways he treats Mika. We also see incidents of racism in various forms, one of Mika's best friends is Indian, and her parents refuse to acknowledge her or her brother over having a non-Indian girlfriend.
Mika is a strong, resilient person, she is smart, and is a fish expert (I love how she rescues one to take home), and is genuinely a nice person. and even though she does get worked up and upset over things, she doesn't let it stop her, and even the people she doesn't really like much end up finding a place in her heart.
Fish Out of Water was a refreshing change to my current reading habits and I thoroughly enjoyed every page, I even need to get a copy once it's released for my shelves. Whether your a fish person or not, you need to read this book.