Nat Luurtsema's Girl Out of Water

Published on: 17 August 2016

Nat Luurtsema's first ever YA novel, Girl Out of Water, introduces us to the book's heroine, Lou Brown.

Modelled on herself, Nat's protagonist is a promising swimmer who falls a little short when trying out at an Olympic meet. But, unlike Nat, Lou then takes on the challenge of become an underwater synchronised swimming trainer for the three cool boys in school. As you do.

The boys want to chase their own dream of trying out for Britain's Hidden Talent, but they need Lou's help.

Nat drew on her own personal experiences for this story. When speaking about Lou, she said:

She's about 5ft 11in, maybe pushing 6ft. She's so very tall that when she talks to boys she needs to lean against the wall and slide herself down so she's kinda on eye-level. I spent years doing that. I mean, I wasn't really talking to boys, I didn't know any boys, but if I did speak to boys I'd have to use the 'lean and slide' technique.

Despite Lou's inability to make small talk and her bad fashion sense, she's also very upbeat. This bleeds into the message behind Girl Out of Water.

I was thinking, '"hat would I wish someone had said to me when I was 15?' I think it would have been, 'Just relax, you're never going to be the smartest, the cleverest, the fastest, the best...' I hope anyone that reads the book feels that they don't need to be that hard on themselves and they don't feel they need to be the best.

Watch Nat read the first chapter from the book

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