ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: Coming Up for Air (Hundred Oaks Series)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publishing: July 4, 2017 (Sourcebooks Fire)
Format: Kindle edition, 304 pages
Source: e-ARC from Netgalley
“If you spend all your time thinking about how someone is going to one-up you, you can’t put your best foot forward.”
MY RATING: (3.75 stars)
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.
All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team, and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.
No one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?
I read the synopsis for Coming Up for Air and knew that I wanted…needed…to read it. Some books you read to help you escape, but others you read because you know you will relate. This was the latter. I grew up a competitive swimmer, coached club swimming, and have a brother-in-law who has coached swimming at multiple recent Olympic games. This was my world, once upon a time, and I was very excited to dive into this read.
Coming Up for Air was my first experience with a Miranda Kenneally book. It seems I might have to change that! This book was exactly what I had hoped it would be; relatable. Being a serious, focused athlete is not always easy. Being a high schooler is equally not as easy. I have a feeling that quite a few girls can find a bit of themselves in Maggie who was trying to balance school, sports, and a social life. More specifically here, she was attempting to get her Olympic trials cut in swimming while trying to scrape up some shred of normalcy for her high school experience.
Miranda had a very responsive writing style. She wrote, and I reacted on an emotional level. I read this book in under 24-hours because it was an easy book to read, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next with the characters. There were a few times when I thought concepts or phrases were repeated more often than necessary (not going to lie, repeatedly hearing about Maggie’s “urges” kind-of weirded me out), but overall I found her writing light and colloquial.
I loved the small, tight-knit group of friends, particularly our protagonists. Maggie, Levi, Hunter, and Georgia all understand one another because of their commitment to being high-level athletes, but their Friday night tradition helps provide a bit of reprieve, not only from their sports, but from other stresses in their lives. These scenes are some of my faves! I also love how their friendship shifts as their lives do. Is it me or does Hunter seem to be jones-ing a little for Georgia?! At the very least, he has a protective big brother thing, but, either way, it was sweet!
So, the “friends to something more” trope…I thought it was so good (and, truth be told, it is probably my favorite literary trope)! I know some people probably won’t like it, but readers are all different, and we all have our own preferences. The way Miranda wrote the plot premise, though, made this trope tolerable. Levi is such a good guy. Maggie is so innocent. Without giving away spoilers, I felt like the story played out much more modern-day than other stories I have read, which is probably why I am so okay with it. I will be interested to see others’ thoughts on this. Tropes always make me curious!
Overall, I really enjoyed Coming Up for Air. If you are looking for a quick, cute read, I definitely recommend this book. And, if you like it (the YA contemporary romance with a sports tie), check out the rest of the Hundred Oaks Series!
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced galley of this book. Please note that it, in no way, affected my opinion or review.