Like Water
A gorgeously written and deeply felt literary young adult novel of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the widely acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow PlacesIn 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.With her signature stunning writing, Rebecca Podos, author of The Mystery of Hollow Places, has crafted a story of first love and of the complex ways in which the deepest parts of us are hidden, even from ourselves.

Like Water Details

TitleLike Water
Author
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062373373
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Glbt, Queer

Like Water Review

  • The Bookavid
    January 1, 1970
    *sighs deeply*i feel like ive been waiting years for this.i wonder what color the spine will be. I NEED THIS NOW I NEED BI PERFORMING MERMAIDS IN MY LIFE
  • Laura (bbliophile)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book a lot. Review to come.
  • Ashley Blake
    January 1, 1970
    I had the great privilege of reading an early version of this book, and wow is it gorgeous. Messy, complex characters and motivations, beautiful prose, a diverse cast, and QUEER. I have so many thoughts, and I'll add to this later, but yes, yes, you want this on your 2017 TBR.
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  • Vee S
    January 1, 1970
    OMG YA'LL IS THIS BOOK ON YOUR 2017 TBR BECAUSE IT SHOULD BE. One of the most beautiful and impactful books I've ever read. And like. Idk man. It's been a long time since I've seen so much of myself in one book. ~more later~
  • Dahlia
    January 1, 1970
    Not at all surprised at how much I liked this. So different from Podos's first book (except that I really, really enjoy how she handles familial dynamics in both, in what a presence the fathers are) but also so good. Also digging this trend of absolutely drama-free "oh, huh, I'm bi" realizations from MCs this year - always nice to see another experience show up in YA.
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  • Camryn Garrett
    January 1, 1970
    This is so good. It reminds me of Ari and Dante. It made me tear up and get worried about the end, but it's so hopeful. I love it.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Vanni's small New Mexico town, La Trampa, is the kind of place you either flee upon graduation or you find yourself stuck in for life. As much as she's intended to flee, though, Vanni is sticking around after graduation to help take care of her sick father, as well as the family Mexican restaurant. That's when she meets Leigh, a new girl in town. To be fair, Vanni doesn't meet Leigh. She first meets Leigh's brother, and is put off by the attitude and brashness of Leigh. But soon, Vanni cannot ge Vanni's small New Mexico town, La Trampa, is the kind of place you either flee upon graduation or you find yourself stuck in for life. As much as she's intended to flee, though, Vanni is sticking around after graduation to help take care of her sick father, as well as the family Mexican restaurant. That's when she meets Leigh, a new girl in town. To be fair, Vanni doesn't meet Leigh. She first meets Leigh's brother, and is put off by the attitude and brashness of Leigh. But soon, Vanni cannot get enough of Leigh, and the two of them fall for one another. Or more, Vanni, who is used to enjoying physical fun with many of the local boys, finds herself falling for Leigh on a physical and emotional level, and the story itself explores what it is that Vanni really wants both in the place she's at and the places she hopes to be....physical, emotional, and through relationships. This is a fabulous book and a quiet one about sexual identity, the fluidity therein, and it features a character who identifies as gender queer (that would be Leigh, who, throughout we refer to as "she" and female, but learn the preferred gender identity later on -- that is part of Vanni's coming to understand her own sexuality). Both of the characters here are sharp, a little prickly, and yet fully realized and realistic. Another undercurrent of this book is the fear Vanni may have the same condition as her father, and when she turns 18, she has the right to take a genetic test to find out whether or not the possibility of carrying those mutated genes exists. Would pair really well with LITTLE & LION by Brandy Colbert. There is a lot here, and it's handled in a really impressive manner.
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  • London Shah
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely LOVED this story! Everything about it is so authentic and realistic seeming, and to top it off it's sooo moving, and hilarious :D Love the MC, Vanni...oh my goodness, I adore her. The author's craft skills are stunning––the characters, pacing, and writing are all superb––and this is one fantastic tale. Prepare to fall in love with Vanni <3.
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  • Karen Fortunati
    January 1, 1970
    Like her debut novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, Rebecca Podos continues to stun - crafting another tender, deeply-moving and gorgeously written story, LIKE WATER. High school graduate Savannah is in controlled free-fall. Her father's Huntington's disease has derailed not only her future plans of escaping her hometown for college but something more drastic - a future of any kind. Because Huntington's disease is genetically passed and this knowledge propels Savannah into distraction mode by du Like her debut novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, Rebecca Podos continues to stun - crafting another tender, deeply-moving and gorgeously written story, LIKE WATER. High school graduate Savannah is in controlled free-fall. Her father's Huntington's disease has derailed not only her future plans of escaping her hometown for college but something more drastic - a future of any kind. Because Huntington's disease is genetically passed and this knowledge propels Savannah into distraction mode by dumping her friends and losing herself in short term hookups. Battling intense fear, anxiety and symptom paranoia, a new friendship with Leigh blossoms unexpectedly into a relationship. Podos writes of Savannah's discovery with great freshness. Even more compelling is the window into the family's pain as Savannah's father deteriorates. It is brutal and raw and gut-wrenching. This is where Podos' talent especially shines as she peels back the many layers of this tragedy and writes exquisitely of the grief and sense of helplessness. Yet the story is never depressing - Podos infuses Savannah and a memorable cast with strength, wit, and faith. Without a doubt, one of the most moving novels I've ever read. A must read!!
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  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.Like Water was a fantastic contemporary read. Performing mermaids, a bi protagonist, a genderqueer character, healthy and positive family dynamics, and an exceptional f/f romance. What more could you ask for? Full review to come.
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    Mer-mazing
  • Ava
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a fantastic story, and I cannot WAIT till its release so that everyone can read it.
  • Catherine Tinker
    January 1, 1970
    omg performing mermaid like at Weeki Wachee? holy need, batman
  • S.M. Parker
    January 1, 1970
    After reading THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES last year, Rebecca Podos became an insta-buy author for me so I was so thrilled to receive an advanced copy of her sophomore YA novel, LIKE WATER. I have a crush on everything about this book: the southwest setting, the tough and fragile Vanni, the mermaid waterpark, Vanni’s Mom and Dad, and the fierce and vulnerable Leigh. Every richly layered character is delivered in the gorgeously emotional prose I came to love while devouring THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW After reading THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES last year, Rebecca Podos became an insta-buy author for me so I was so thrilled to receive an advanced copy of her sophomore YA novel, LIKE WATER. I have a crush on everything about this book: the southwest setting, the tough and fragile Vanni, the mermaid waterpark, Vanni’s Mom and Dad, and the fierce and vulnerable Leigh. Every richly layered character is delivered in the gorgeously emotional prose I came to love while devouring THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES. Podos is masterful at creating family and setting, and then dropping a stunningly real and complex MC smack in the middle of this contemporary world. Vanni rules. She’s every girl and my crush on her was hard. Vanni feels stuck in her small New Mexico hometown due to her father’s illness and her family’s business. Sticking around was never her plan and you FEEL that with every line she delivers, every boy she uses as a distraction. “Tomorrow: the first day of the rest of my life, post-high school. I’m bored already.” (pg. 30, quoted from ARC) Vanni can’t possible understand how NOT BORING her life is to the reader.  When Vanni meets Leigh, she discovers aspects of her sexuality she’d never fully embraced, but it’s her relationship with Leigh—and the beautiful, heartbreaking, confusing first love that blooms between them—wherein Vanni begins to see her own strengths, and begins to realize she’s strong enough to love her family and Leigh yet still live a life that is wholly hers. This is a striking novel that is at time hilarious and other times so, so sad. But this is life, right? And sometimes we’re fortunate to meet a person who makes the world’s edges a little softer. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to discover an author like Podos.
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  • Billy Zildjian
    January 1, 1970
    Rebecca Podos' Like Water is an excellent portrayal of the coming of age story set in a small New Mexico town. As I read I was drawn into the conflicting feelings that manically jump between certainty and uncertainty and control and chaos. All the emotions of being eighteen again came flooding back to me. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, but small towns are the same everywhere. An enemy in high school is and enemy for life; you never out grew your reputation; and the townies, as we call Rebecca Podos' Like Water is an excellent portrayal of the coming of age story set in a small New Mexico town. As I read I was drawn into the conflicting feelings that manically jump between certainty and uncertainty and control and chaos. All the emotions of being eighteen again came flooding back to me. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, but small towns are the same everywhere. An enemy in high school is and enemy for life; you never out grew your reputation; and the townies, as we called them too, seemed to live a life of contentment or regret. Like Water is not the usual soft coming of age YA book, but is a little more realistic in how it portrays the conflicting feelings of that period of life. When Vanni asks her dying father "What would you have done if you knew you were going to get sick?" She is really asking the question we all ask ourselves, "If I could live life again, what would I do different." You will have to read the book for the answer, but read the book anyway because it is well worth it.
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  • Trista
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I started to read this book. I had an ARC of it and the cover caught my attention but I'd just glimpsed at the synopsis. It seemed interesting so it was the one that ended up getting picked from the TBR to read. It ended up being a very good, very relatable read. What I thought was going to be a pretty quick, light read turned into a very meaningful reading experience.Savannah, or "Vanni", was a girl who knew what she wanted from life. She had a p I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I started to read this book. I had an ARC of it and the cover caught my attention but I'd just glimpsed at the synopsis. It seemed interesting so it was the one that ended up getting picked from the TBR to read. It ended up being a very good, very relatable read. What I thought was going to be a pretty quick, light read turned into a very meaningful reading experience.Savannah, or "Vanni", was a girl who knew what she wanted from life. She had a plan to get out of her small town and make a life for herself that wouldn't have her coming back to her hometown in a few years like most people who left. Her plans were derailed when her father got sick and she pushed away her friends, not wanting their presence to remind her of the future she thought was now out of her reach. When she met a new boy and his sister, she began to rediscover herself. She ended up with a new job and new feelings.I loved the relationship between Vanni and Leigh. Both girls were searching for something and found it in each other. Both of them needed the other in different ways and I loved that their relationship wasn't perfect in terms of no bumps in the road, but it was meaningful and great to read.I really enjoyed the strong sense of family and community that flowed through the book as well. It was a huge part of who Vanni was and a huge part of her growth arc as she had to figure out where she fit into the world and her future. It made for a very character-driven plot and a much deeper book than I was anticipating. In a good way.*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Ari Tinius
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book quite a lot, but after the halfway point it got really rushed?? Idk its a meh book.
  • Keiko
    January 1, 1970
    Messy Queers are Messy and Relatable.
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