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Like Water
Contributor(s): Podos, Rebecca
ISBN: 0062373374     ISBN-13: 9780062373373
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017
Annotation: When her father is diagnosed with Hungtington's disease, eighteen-year-old Vanni abandons her plan to flee her small New Mexico hometown after high school graduation and instead spends the summer keeping herself busy with part-time jobs and boys, but that changes after she meets Leigh, whose friendship dares Vanni to ask herself big questions and make new plans.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Bisexuality; Fiction.
Huntington's disease; Fiction.
Hispanic Americans; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2016053584
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.00" H x 6.00" W x 1.00" (0.85 lbs) 312 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
The summer after graduation, Vanni Espinoza is feeling adrift in her small New Mexico town; she's also surprised to find herself falling for another girl, Leigh. Vanni's relationships with Leigh and with her own family (including her father, recently diagnosed with Huntington's disease) are richly textured. Spanish words are incorporated naturally into English conversations. Readers will likely be invested in the characters' stories--and their futures. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #5)
Before her father's Huntington's disease diagnosis, ?Savannah ("Vanni") Espinoza thought her life was on track: leave her small New Mexico town, maybe swim for a Division II college. Now it's the summer after graduation, and Vanni is feeling adrift. She's working at the family restaurant, hooking up with guys, and trying not to think about the medical test she can take now that she's eighteen that can predict whether or not she has inherited her father's Huntington's genetics. At her second job as a "mermaid" at a nearby water park, she meets handsome Lucas and his prickly sister Leigh--and is surprised to find herself falling for Leigh. Their relationship is satisfyingly complex, both in times of tenderness and moments of self-destruction (both characters can be real jerks). The relationships between Vanni and each of her parents, too, are richly textured, while Leigh's brother Lucas is the best older sibling a person could ask for. Spanish words and phrases (unitalicized) are incorporated into the English conversations in a natural-seeming way. The writing style can be uneven, occasionally straining for metaphor and lyricism ("Every time I lied to my friends or let them lie to me, it felt like I was carving pieces out of myself to give to them") alongside the mundane or vulgar ("If Santa Cruz Lake was cold, Mermaid Cove at the Lost Lagoon is icy as a Viking's balls"). But readers will likely be invested in the characters' stories--and their futures. elissa gershowitz Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 8 Up—Vanni is stuck in small-town New Mexico, dreams of college dashed by her father's diagnosis of a chronic condition that will soon render him unable to care for himself. Loyal to her parents and their hard-earned family business (and fearful of whether this genetic condition has been passed down to her), she has resigned herself to a life of restaurant-work drudgery, flings with local boys, and watching her friends go out into the world without her. When she meets Leigh and Lucas, twins who have recently relocated from the northeast, things shift for Vanni in ways she never expected. Initially drawn to Lucas, she soon realizes that Leigh fascinates her more than any boy she's ever met. The two young women soon fall deeply in love, leading Vanni question her sexual identity. Leigh is mischievous and daring, pushing Vanni out of her comfort zone (and sometimes into trouble, like getting fired from the local water park where she played a mermaid). She is also critical of Vanni's resignation and insists that she, Leigh, will be leaving New Mexico the moment she turns 18. Their relationship is passionate and rocky, but ultimately life-changing for Vanni. A strong coming-of-age story, if at times just slightly predictable for sophisticated readers, this book should have wide appeal for teens who feel trapped by their circumstances and family obligations. VERDICT A good selection for most YA shelves.—Nora G. Murphy, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, CA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.