Fish Out of Water

Fish Out of Water

by Natalie Whipple


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Fish Out of Water by Natalie Whipple

Mika is about to fulfill her dream of working at the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium when her plans are derailed by an unexpected arrival-her estranged grandmother Betty. Betty has dementia, and is no longer able to take care of herself. Betty is in need of her family's help-and she's not going to be particularly nice about it. Mika has to give up her summer internship at the Aquarium and stick to working part-time at AnimalZone in order to take care of Betty. The manager at AnimalZone has hired his nephew Dylan to work there, and Mika thinks he's entitled and annoying. Or is he just trying to become a better person? Mika is trying to be as patient as possible with her grandma-but Betty doesn't make that easy. And neither does Dylan. NATALIE WHIPPLE accidentally killed three goldfish while researching this novel [which Mika would be very ashamed of] but she hasn't killed any since. She grew up in California and spent many a family vacation in Monterey, and now she lives in Utah with her husband and three children frequently wishing she were closer to a beach.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991178544
Publisher: Natalie Whipple c/o Curtis Brown LTD
Publication date: 01/05/2016
Pages: 330
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Natalie Whipple, sadly, does not have any cool mutations like her characters. Unless you count the ability to watch anime and Korean dramas for hours on end. Or her uncanny knack for sushi consumption. She currently lives in Utah with her husband and three kids. Follow Natalie at or on Twitter: @nataliewhipple

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Fish Out of Water 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day... I seriously could not put it down. The family issues, the perfect romance, the difficult subjects brought up I don't see too often in YA novels... I absolutely adore this novel to pieces, and it has quickly become one of my favorite contemporary novels EVER. I can't wait to reread this one and savor it more slowly to enjoy the story in a completely new way. Loved it. I will read anything Natalie Whipple writes. She is an "auto-buy author" for me.
JABennett More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book where you order pizza instead of making dinner so you can read more. This is the kind of book where you stay up late even though you're sick, and pregnant, and tired, but you can't put it down. This is the kind of book you dream about all night long and think about when you have to be an adult for an hour before you send the kids to school. This is the kind of book where you avoid reading the last chapter because you don't want it to end. This is my favorite kind of book.
JustAnotherBookLover1 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the previous three books I’ve read of Natalie Whipple’s (Transparent, Blindsided, and House of Ivy and Sorrow), so when she offered up copies of Fish Out of Water for bloggers to review, I requested one. I’ll be honest: I’ve liked Whipple’s other books, but they aren’t some of my favorites. When I’d heard that Fish Out of Water had been accepted by a UK publisher but Whipple was going to self-publish it in the US because it wasn’t sold to a North American territory, I didn’t open the file with high expectations. I was surprised to find that of her books I’ve read, I think this is by far her best. Mika’s relationship with her grandmother was so conflicted and nuanced. You got a great look at how horrible Alzheimer’s is, as well as how someone can be much more horrible than the disease could ever make them. What I loved best about it was how her grandmother was a nasty person, but she was not simply painted as a villain. Whipple created a sick, racist woman, but she gave the character reasonable motivations and moments where Mika (and the reader) glimpsed who this woman could have become in different circumstances. I wouldn’t have ever guessed that my favorite part of a YA book would have been the relationship between the main character and her grandmother. One of my favorite sub-plots was with Mika’s friend Shreya and her Indian family. I have many Indian friends and acquaintances, and Shreya’s family’s reaction to their son dating a white woman was an accurate one for many Indian families. Warning: if you like Indian food, the descriptions of the family restaurant will have you looking up curry recipes. Then there was the romance. I’m not going to lie—it was the only part of the book that fell a little flat for me. On the plus side, the transition between Mika and Dylan hating each other to dating was a gradual one. They had a lot of cute banter and some great kissing. On the down side, at the end there was some very clichéd misunderstandings to give some (fake) dramatic tension toward the end of the book. If you read solely for romance, and the contrived misunderstanding would drive you crazy, this one might not be for you. If, like me, you’re much more interested in reading about a diverse set of characters with very complicated, realistic relationships, I’d advise you to pick this one up. 
JessicaCoffee More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. FISH OUT OF WATER was a breath of fresh air. The characters were diverse, the difficulty in being accepted when BEING diverse was addressed (many times), there was compassion, frustration, girlfriend fun, a hot guy, great food, and a gorgeous location (Monterey, California, and the surrounding areas, which Natalie wrote so perfectly that I felt like I was there again, walking down Cannery Row as a local, not a tourist).  The more I try to figure out what to say about FOoW, the less words I can find to do so. Along with the whole diversity/acceptance thing, I guess I'd say it's about learning that, sometimes, you end up needing and falling in love with people you never even knew you needed (or were afraid to need); and that, when your heart's involved in this process, there's no telling how you're going to respond.  Love love loved it, all of the characters (Betty especially), and the fishy facts as well. Oh, and I almost forgot the perfect love for The Princess Bride. How can you not like a character who loves that movie? This book's a keeper, guys, and well worth getting your (ahem) fins on.  *Note: I'd say this is higher YA due to sex and swearing. (less)
Bookish_Things_Blog More than 1 year ago
It's only recently that I've come to enjoy realistic fiction, books without superpowers or imaginary worlds with great battles; I like to submerge myself in science fiction and fantasy novels, and part of the reason why is that I rarely found a realistic novel that, well, felt real to me. Even books like Hold Still, 13 Reasons Why, and The Fault in Our Stars (all of which I loved, by the way) are stories that don't belong to the everyday; yes, they happen, but I don't consider these types of stories as things that occur on a regular basis to the average person; they are exceptions, and, yes, they are real and heartbreaking and wonderful.  But what Natalie Whipple has delivered is a moment of truth.  Mika (and that's Meeka, not Micah) finally gets the opportunity to work at the Aquarium with her marine biologist parents when two strangers bring all her plans crashing down. Dylan is the new guy at work, but he's also the boss's hot troubled nephew with more than a few issues, but Dylan's not even the worst of Mika's problems. When an old woman she's never seen before shows up on her doorstep, Mika thinks she must have the wrong address, but Betty Arlington turns out to be Mika's estranged grandmother who has no money, no home, and a developing case of Alzheimer's. Torn from her summer internship and caught between the two people she wants nothing to do with, Mika's life becomes an emotional roller-coaster that feels all too familiar. I wanted to read this book because I have followed Natalie Whipple's journey online for years and have become a huge fan of all her work, and I wasn't the slightest bit disappointed when I cracked this book open; of course, it doesn't hurt that she references The Princess Bride, like, a lot. While I don't have a relative with Alzheimer's and I haven't fallen in love with a bad boy, I connected with this story so much more than I thought possible. From fights with parents and the fear of falling in love for the first time to quoting movies with best friends and hating the way the world works, this book nails what it is to be human, to have family, to struggle with why people are the way they are. It is real, and it is raw, and it is a great story about acceptance in a world with far too little of it. Whipple shows us what it is to keep swimming when all we want to do is give in, to fight for the things and the people we love and believe in rather than living a life of regrets, and to never give up on anyone, especially those we call family. Fish Out of Water is a must-read for anyone who has ever lived, laughed, loved, lied, or lost, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Jynx22 More than 1 year ago
FISH OUT OF WATER is a story about a Japanese-American girl whose summer turns to shambles when her racist, Alzheimer’s, grandmother shows up on her doorstep and a spoiled rich-kid named Dylan invades her pet store work place. This is a love story. But the premise is so three deminsional that the reader is faced with a myriad of conflicts that all lead to the same, well-crafted point. Love is diverse and sometimes hurtful, but worth it in the end.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. It was cute, and fun, and may have been fluffy but it totally worked. I loved the characters, and the diversity, and the setting, and how perfectly everything was portrayed.  Our main character is Mika. Mika loves fish. Her parents are marine biologists at the Aquarium, where she is hoping to get an internship over the summer, in addition to her job at the pet shop. But suddenly, her perfect summer ends up not-so-perfect. Her grandmother Betty shows up. The grandmother Mika has never seen because she's racist against Mika's Japanese mother. The grandmother who now has Alzheimer's and oh, guess who gets to watch her during the summer? To make matters worse, her boss's nephew is working at the pet shop, and he's more than kind of a jerk.  I loved Mika. Mika has her passion, and she doesn't care if anyone else thinks it's weird. I also found her pretty smart and mature for her age. Her schpiel about how "if it's true goldfish have such a short memory, shouldn't we make every memory a good one?" and how she later learned to apply that to her grandmother really stuck with me. Yeah, Mika has her moments of acting out, of overreacting, of basically being a dumb teenager. But she also realizes it, and tries to keep it from happening again. And I mean, she's pretty entitled to her feeling. Between her grandmother and Dylan, she's dealing with a lot.  Once Dylan gets over his entitlement and arrogance, he was a pretty decent guy. He makes mistakes, but he also learns from them. I do tend to like my hate-then-love romances, and this one was done pretty well. I wasn't particularily swooned by him, although he was still pretty hot.  But this is more than just a romance. I mentioned the diversity, and this one deals with it so well. Not just having diverse characters, but showcasing what it's like, and also the issues that still go on, even though we like to think they don't. From Mika and her mom dealing with racism from her own grandmother, to her friend Shreya and her Indian parents' old-fashioned ways. (I mean, duh I have a little more love for Indian characters, I'm biased after all. But also, so much food! I was hungry by the end of it. Seriously. Raging for some butter chicken and naan right now.) Mika also deals with the big issues, like her grandmother's Alzheimer's and how to care for someone like that. It's hard, but I admire Mika and how she dealt with that.  Sure, you have some of your typical romance cliches, especially at the end but I was totally sucked in to the story by this point. If you love contemporary, then this is the book for you. But don't be fooled: while it might seem like a fluffy romance, it deals with so much more than that. I loved it. 
agabbitas More than 1 year ago
Well Natalie has done it again! Another non stop page turner! I love all of her books and this one is no different. I love watching Mika grow, and learn to love in about every way possible. There's so many feels as Mika goes through some life changing events. This book is easy to relate to and so fun to read. I love having a book I can't put down. The writing and characters are beautiful and everyone should read this book, especially if you've had difficult family to deal with!