Review: Like Water - Rebecca Podos
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ+
Published: Balzar and Bray, October 2017
Rating: 5/5 stars
"I loved the girl I could have been in the next door dimension, where one tiny butterfly of a thing is different. But this is the world we have, and this is the girl I am, so I just say "I do". "
Like Water is the exact type of contemporary that attracts me; hard-hitting topics, a focus on family and/or coming of age, all against the highly atmospheric backdrop of (preferably) a small town... Even though I knew from the synopsis that this could be one of them, Like Water exceeded all my expectations, and can only say that I adored this book. As with many of the books that I adore, I'm going to struggle putting my thoughts to paper a lot more that I would with book I didn't like as much, so please excuse any further ramblings.
In the words of Savannah Espinoza: kids in her small New Mexico hometown, either flee right after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. She has always planned on being the former kind herself. But that was before her father was diagnosed with a terminal degenerative illness and her family had to struggle to stay afloat. Now she’s stuck living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another. Until she meets Leigh, and develops a special friendship she never anticipated.
I often keep banging on and on about needing more good books about chronic illness or taking care of a loved one with an illness, and I finally found one that I want to add to that list! Like Water was all I could ask for in this regard. It nails it with the dilemma's and conflicting feelings that come with the situations, as well as the strain that "not-knowing" puts on a person.
As if that wasn't enough greatness for one book, this is only the beginning. I have a lot of respect for Rebecca Podos managing to fit in so many potentially loaded subjects (sexual identity, mental illness, coming of age, Hispanic culture, etc.), yet pulling it all off so seamlessly.
I can't tell what the rest of the year might bring, but I feel there's a good chance Like Water makes it to my favourites of 2020.
If you were on the fence, let this be the little push you needed!
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