But here's the bit from Publisher's Marketplace:
Natalie Whipple's FISH OUT OF WATER, in which a girl's perfect summer is ruined by the appearance of her estranged grandmother with Alzheimer's, to Sara O’Connor at Hot Key Books, by Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown (British Commonwealth).
Now, that's not a ton of info about the book, so I will take the liberty to elaborate here. FISH is a YA contemporary novel, which is a serious love of mine genre-wise. I have always dreamed of publishing in the contemporary genre, constantly felt not good enough to do so, and yet hoped maybe I would get a chance one day. And here it is! Happening and stuff!
FISH is also maybe a little more *mature* than my paranormal novels. I only say this because I know I have some younger readers and those with sensitive moral standards (yes, I'm talking to the Mormons). While I could never get seriously graphic, I do want to say there is *gasp* sex in this novel. I feel it is in good taste and necessary to the story. Otherwise I wouldn't write it. This is the official disclaimer. Consider yourselves informed.
Also, you may have noticed in the PM announcement that the rights have been sold for the British Commonwealth. Yes, this DOES mean it has NOT sold in America. Yet. I am eternally hopeful that it will find a home in the US, but as of right now this book won't be available in my home country.
With those pieces of info out of the way, here is a longer description of FISH OUT OF WATER:
Mika Arlington was supposed to spend the summer after her junior year shadowing her marine biologist parents at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but when her estranged grandmother randomly shows up on the doorstep one day, those plans are derailed. Because Grandma Betty isn't here to play nice—she is cranky, intolerant of Mika's mixed-race-couple parents, and oh yeah she has Alzheimer's and is out of money.
While Mika's family would rather not deal with Grandma Betty, they don't have much choice. And despite Mika's protests, she is roped into caring for a person that seems impossible to have compassion for. And if that wasn't hard enough, Mika must train the new guy at her pet shop job who wants to be anywhere else, and help a friend through her own family crisis. Something's gotta a give, but whichever ball Mika drops means losing someone she loves.
Not exactly a recipe for Best Summer Ever—or is it?
I'm not gonna lie, I really love this book. It comes from many personal places, as much of my work does. I've talked about how HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW is deeply inspired by my Grandma Dorothy. Well, the truth is, FISH OUT OF WATER is strongly inspired by my other grandmother.
While she didn't have Alzheimer's, my father's mother was a person I loved, but also struggled to understand. She was the kind of person who was all honey to your face, but angry and resentful the second you left. She "didn't approve" of a lot of things, like my father converting to Mormonism and my uncle marrying outside his race. She even went so far as to make these things clear on her death bed. And that has stuck with me—that some of her last words to my father and uncle were not "I love you" or "I'm proud of you," but instead "I never, ever liked what you chose in your life."
I suppose FISH is my way of working this out for myself, in exploring the idea of family, of how you can love someone and still pretty much know they're not a great person. It's about accepting others' flaws—accepting your own.
It's also about good curry, sand sculpture, cute boys who make golf look cool, and goldfish. LOTS of goldfish.
So if you're down for a book like that, FISH OUT OF WATER is for you. And you don't even have to wait very long! It'll be released FEBRUARY 5th, 2015.