Review: Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema

Author: Nat Luurtsema
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Note: I received this book from Fierce Reads via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.


Lou Brown is one of the fastest swimmers in the county. She’s not boasting, she really is. So things are looking pretty rosy the day of the Olympic time-trials. With her best mate Hannah by her side, Lou lines up by the edge of the pool, snaps her goggles on and bends into her dive…


Everything rests on this race. It’s Lou’s thing.


… or it was. She comes dead last and to top it all off Hannah sails through leaving a totally broken Lou behind.


Starting again is never easy, particularly when you’re the odd-one out in a family of insanely beautiful people and a school full of social groups way too intimidating to join. Where do you go from here? Finding a new thing turns out to be the biggest challenge Lou’s ever faced and opens up a whole new world of underwater somersaults, crazy talent shows, bitchy girls and a great big load of awkward boy chat.


Lou Brown guides us through the utter humiliation of failure with honesty, sass and a keen sense of the ridiculous. This girl will not be beaten.

  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Goldfish is a fantastic coming of age story about fifteen-year-old Lou. Lou, a competitive swimmer since early childhood, is supposed to be the best at what she does. But when Lou finishes last at the most important event of her life, she suddenly is without the sport that has been her identity. To make matters worse, her best friend did her best and will be attending training camp without Lou.

Stuck at school without any friends, Lou can’t help but wallow in her misery. Just when she’s sure nothing can turn her life around, she’s asked by three hot boys to train them in synchronized swimming for a popular talent show. Lou’s not sure she has what it takes to get the boys where they need to be, but she’s willing to try. Coaching the boys may just be the thing Lou needs to get over losing her favorite thing.

Goldfish was different from so many of the sports related books I’ve read. For one thing, it focused on swimming. For another, it wasn’t about becoming the best, but rather what happens when you can’t be. It was cool how it showed that Lou could find a life for herself outside the pool.

Another refreshing thing about Goldfish was the writing. I loved how fresh and snarky it felt! Lou was such a witty character. I imagine she would be fun to be friends with. Her text and email exchanges with her best friend, Hannah, were hilarious. Although, I do have to admit that when Lou was in her depression stage, the book became kind of slow and depressing. It made the book not so fun to read for a bit. Thankfully, that didn’t last long.

Lou’s family dynamics were awesome. They had such a great relationship with each other. It was nice to see a supportiv family in a YA book. I loved all of them, especially Lou’s dad. His words of wisdom were so funny. His birds and the bees talk was the best.

My favorite part of the story, though, was Lou coaching the boys. There were so many hilarious things that happened in the story once she started doing it. One crazy thing after another kept happening. I was smiling and laughing so much!

Overall, Goldfish was a really great coming of age story. It’s definitely one I would recommend to readers who enjoy YA contemporary fiction.



4 thoughts on “Review: Goldfish by Nat Luurtsema

    • Thank you! It was a cool book. I honestly say I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.