Synopsis from Edelweiss:
In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.
That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person stirs up the moat Vanni has carefully constructed around herself and threatens to bring to the surface the questions she’s held under for so long.
About: Like Water is a young adult fiction written by Rebecca Podos. It will be published on 10/17/17 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, 320 pages. The genres are young adult, GLBT, contemporary, queer, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up. According to the publisher’s website, “Balzer + Bray publishes bold, creative, and groundbreaking picture books and novels that appeal directly to kids in a fresh way. Within our boutique imprint, authors and illustrators have the freedom to take risks and fulfill their unique visions.” Please see below for more information about the author.
My Experience: I started reading Like Water on 10/9/17 and finished it on 10/11/17. I like diving into this book blindly and discovering the surprises within the pages. I love the cover of this book! The humor is great! It’s not the usual banter/bickering I’m used to, but the general conversational and narrative humor. I like that the characters aren’t perfect. They have problems they deal with that can be relatable to readers. This book has swear words in English and in Spanish because the main character is bilingual. This book is not sad despite the health problems, romance troubles, and limited future plans opportunities. It’s not very depressing either because when teens are bored, they dare each other to do crazy things.
This book is told in the first person point of view following Savannah (aka Vanni) Espinoza, a recent graduate at El Trampero High School. This story takes place in El Trampero (The Trapper) but everyone calls it La Trampa (The Trap), a small town in New Mexico where Vanni works at her family restaurant called Sylvia’s. The norms of growing up in a small town is wanting to get out and Vanni has plans to go away to college. Her plan was cut short when her father suddenly was diagnosed with Huntington’s, a no-cure disease that turns off what he was able to do for himself into having others to take care of him. Additionally, it’s also a disease that’s genetically passed down from one generation to the next and Vanni feels like her future is slipping away. She’s numb on what to do with her life, whether take the test to know if she inherits the disease or continue to live in a haze waiting for the disease to come. She takes reckless paths with different guys to fix the numbness. All that is changed when she gotten to know Leigh Clemente. Vanni has only been with guys, but somehow Vanni started to notice the little things in Leigh. Leigh becomes one good thing in Vanni’s life but Leigh has her own troubles and Vanni’s wants might be out of reach again.
This book is well written. I like the Spanish vocabularies embedded into the story. With my two years of Spanish lessons way back in the days, I was able to understand a few words here and there but it would’ve been great if there were more translation within the story. I haven’t read a book that talks about mermaids performing at water parks and it’s refreshing to read something new for a change. I like Lucas’ love for his sister Leigh by finding her a friend and taking her to see the meteor shower. I like the bluntness of this book. Vanni speaks bluntly about how she feels and what goes on around her. This book is a good read and I do recommend everyone to read it.
Pro: cover, humor, diversity, hereditary disease, family, friendship, fast paced, discovering oneself
Con: lack of translation for Spanish sentences
I rate it 4 stars!
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About the Author:
Rebecca Podos is the author of The Mystery of Hollow Places. She is a graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, where she won the MFA award for best thesis. Her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. She lives with her husband in Connecticut. You can find her online at http://www.rebeccapodos.com. (Photo and Info obtained from Edelweiss).
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to the author Rebecca Podos, publisher Balzer + Bray, and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.