Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema was a cute story that offered some really great moments. It also offered some moments where I was super frustrated with the narrator. Lou had everything going for her. A great best friend, a possible Olympic level swimming career, a coach who believed in her. So going into the qualifiers for a prestigious training camp should have been the best day of her life. Instead, it changes everything. Lou’s path has changed and the support she thought she had is gone. Now left with time on her hands she runs across a group of three boys with a plan to get on Britain’s Got Talent. A plan that involves her, a synchronized swimming routine and an aquarium.
The plot of Goldfish was unique. It’s not often you think of a YA story that involves a televised talent show, viral videos, choreographed male swimmers and shattered dreams all combined. I enjoyed the writing of Nat Luurtsema. She was able to combine so very disparate elements and make them all work together in a very cohesive manner. The pacing had a few issues. There were a few bumpy transitions and odd time jumps. The world built was good, but not great. We saw everything through the eyes of the fifteen-year-old narrator and she was so lost in her emotions most of the time that we never saw where she was. There were a lot of emotions in the read, but most of them turned me off. Lou was whiny and so wrapped up in herself that she bled negativity. I got very tired of her saying how ugly and worthless she was. It was draining as a reader. I did really enjoy the three young men in the story, they provided some nice comic relief and I really enjoyed their bond.
Goldfish had some really great moments and them some not so good ones. There was an odd side plot at almost the end of the book with Lou’s best friend that seemed just thrown in, and some “mean girls” who were not really mean. But the majority of the tale was very well done and I did enjoy the book as a whole. This was Nat Luurtsema’s YA debut, and while there were a few bumps, overall it was a success.
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.