Fish Out of Water

Natalie Whipple
"One girl's summer of love, friendship, prejudice... and fish"
Fish Out of Water – picture

‘People like to think fish don’t have feelings – it’s easier that way – but as I watch the last guppy squirm in his bag, his eyes seem to plead with me. I get the sense that it knows just as well as I do that bad things are on the horizon.’

Mika Arlington has her perfect summer all planned out, but the arrival of both her estranged grandmother and too-cool Dylan are going to make some very big waves in her life.

Told with Natalie Whipple’s signature whip-smart wit and warmth, this is a story about prejudice, growing up and the true meaning of sticking by your family.

Publication Date: Thu 5 Feb 2015
ISBN Paperback: 9781471404306
ISBN Ebook: 9781471404313



Natalie Whipple

Natalie Whipple is the author of TRANSPARENT, BLINDSIDED (sequel to Transparent), HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW, and RELAX, I'M A NINJA. In addition to that, she is on the writing team for the cRPG 'TORMENT: TIDES OF NUMENERA' that will be out sometime in 2015.

She grew up in the Bay Area and relocated to Utah for high school, which was quite the culture shock for her anime-loving teen self. But the Rocky Mountains eventually won her over, and she stuck around to earn her degree in English linguistics at BYU, with a minor in editing. Natalie still lives in Utah with her husband and three kids, and keeps the local Asian market in business with all her attempts to cook Thai curry, pho, and bulgogi. Follow Natalie at or on Twitter @nataliewhipple


I only know a few things about my dad's mom, and none of them are good. When I was old enough to realize I was missing a grandma, I asked about her. All my dad said was, "Mi-chan, Grandma Arlington wasn't happy that I married Mommy, so we can't talk to her until she gets over that." I didn't quite get it back then, but I took his word for it. As time passed I've learned to read through his carefully constructed statement. Because there are only a couple reasons why someone would disapprove of my intelligent, beautiful, kind mother, and those would fall into the racist category. From the few words I've exchanged with my grandmother today, it's clear I haven't been wrong about her prejudices all these years. But now that she's in front of me I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do about it. "So..." I manage to get out. "Betty, I take it you're my dad's mother?" "Is your dad named Stanley?" I nod. She sighs, like this is more disappointing than exciting, the first face-to-face with her granddaughter. "Told him his kids would look nothing like him." I want to tell her she's wrong, that I got things from my dad that are super obvious, like my stubby fingers instead of Mom's skinny, long ones. I have a bigger bridge in my nose like him, too. And my hair is wavy, not my mom's never-gonna-curl-ever hair. But I don't tell her. I just stare, trying to figure out if I should make good on my dinner offer or not. "Aren't you gonna let me in?" she asks. I jump out of the way before I can find the courage to say no.