Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Kindle E-Book
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Total Pages: 320
I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. In no way has this impacted my opinion of this book or the review provided below.
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 try out, so she 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.
Not 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 lose to win?
I am brand new to the Hundred Oaks series and was super excited to have the opportunity to read this book before it was published! I have certainly seen these books around but I personally had not read any of the other books in the series before picking up Coming Up for Air. I had heard that these were mostly standalone stories that existed in the same realm, so I wasn’t too worried about feeling lost having not read any of the previous books. There may have been some character overlap, but I certainly didn’t realize it! Now, I do plan to read the other Hundred Oaks books, so I’ll be able to go back and make any connections that I may have missed.
I would categorize this book as a simple, straight-up YA contemporary. Is there romance? Of course! Is there drama? Absolutely! Is it realistic to teenage life? Yup, if we’re talking about a teenage athlete’s life! Was it super adorable? Sure was! This book doesn’t really offer anything unique that makes it stand out in the world of YA contemporary, but that isn’t a bad thing. Why fix something that isn’t broke, right?
One aspect of the story that I truly enjoyed was the friendship between Maggie, Levi, Hunter, and Georgia. It is more of a rare occurrence to have a group of friends as close as the four of them were that isn’t made up solely of all females or all males. MIXED SQUADS ARE THE BEST SQUADS! I also loved Maggie and Levi as the main characters. Maggie was humorous and relatable as hell with her awkwardness, especially at the beginning of the story. Levi was swoony, a perfect balanced between manly and sweetheart, and complimented Maggie so well. Where she was super intense with swimming, he was just intense enough, but managed it better, and served as a tether back to earth for her. I enjoyed that their relationship was based on such a solid friend foundation, I think it provided depth and intensity to their relationship that would have felt forced if they hadn’t been so close before.
I’ll admit that my interest in swimming probably assisted in my enjoyment of this book as well. I have struggled with books in the past if it involves a sport that I am not entirely into or do not fully understand (and yes, I am worried about that for a few of the Hundred Oaks books, though I do plan to read them still). I was also lucky enough to attend the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro as a VIP guest of the U.S. Olympics Committee this past year, so the “striving for the Olympics” dream resonated with me as well. Having had the opportunity to meet many inspiring and truly remarkable athletes and hear their stories provided me the opportunity to connect with Maggie and Levi a bit more, because I understood their dedication and what they were striving to obtain having witnessed it so recently.
Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit! I mean, come on, I read it in 24 hours (that includes sleeping and working)! It was a great little escape and a wonderfully adorable story.
Do you have a favorite Hundred Oaks book? Tell me which one I should read next!