Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema
Reviewed by: EPL
Fiction , Young Adult
By: Nat Luurtsema
Call #: YA Fiction Luurt.N
Lou Brown has been training for the Olympics her whole life. On the day of the Olympic trials, Lou swims what she assumes is one of her best times. But as she pulls herself up from the water and looks around, she is met with silence and awkward stares. Turns out Lou finished dead last, lengths behind everyone else and her best friend, Hannah, is headed to Olympic Trails camp without her.
Since the only thing Lou ever focused on was swimming, Lou is left aimless, friendless and wondering why she didn’t pay more attention in school. Though she doesn’t have the Olympics to look forward to anymore, Lou continues to swim at her local pool amidst jeers and snarky comments from her old teammates. One day she finds herself alone and begins sinking to the bottom of the pool where she dances a bit before resurfacing. When she does, she finds herself face-to-face with three of the most popular (and cute) boys from school.
Turns out the boys had just tried out for Britian’s Got Talent but didn’t make it past the crazy long audition line. They’d decide to spice up their break-dance routine with something more interesting and employ Lou’s underwater synchronized dancing as the thing to get them into the finals of the talent show. Lou hesitantly agrees and begins climbing the social ladder at school as she trains the boys in a sport she invented.
Nat Luurtsema’s Goldfish is a book about failure. We follow Lou through hilarious (and sometimes bittersweet) moments of honest defeat and watch as she struggles to find her way. Sometimes it’s okay to fail and fail again. We’re all human and the only way to learn is by trying new things.