Monday, 25 September 2017

Book Review: Coming Up For Air [Hundred Oaks] by Miranda Kenneally


Title: Coming Up For Air
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Author Info: Website|Twitter
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Hundred Oaks
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: 4th July 2017
Rating: 4 stars

Tell Me About It
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.

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 sacrifice in the water to win at love?
My Thoughts
Coming Up For Air was a book I had to read. I have enjoyed reading the previous books in the Hundred Oaks series, and I knew I had to read this one. Going into this series is always a great experience. Having already read the previous books I already have a baseline to start from, I know the secondary characters, as well as how the author writes.

Maggie's life revolves around swimming, she has a close knit group of friends, who all found each other through a love of their own activities that forced them to attend lunch for younger students, so they gravitated towards each other and have been firm friends since. But her love of swimming also affects her social life, and she is one of the few in her group who has yet to have normal teenage experiences, from having feelings for a guy and acting on them, to making out. Determined to have these experiences before she leaves for college, Maggie enlists the help of her good friend Levi.

Maggie was someone who I admired, for her determination and her single mindedness. She has a dream, to swim at the Olympics and she works her ass off to make sure this dream is obtainable. I have never, and would never have this much will power to keep up with what she does every single day. But I also felt sorry for how it affected her life growing up, having a big focus on swimming meant it took a lot of the 'normal' teenage experiences away from her, even something so basic as going to a party. Levi was someone who has the same goals and dreams, but I felt like his approach was a lot more relaxed to it all, even though he works just as hard. I like how supportive this duo are towards each other, but there were times that I was not happy with Levi at all, especially the way he is so flippant about Maggie's feelings.

Coming Up For Air was a book that I really enjoyed. I loved getting to see how much work went into the Olympic dream, and how it affects those around you. But I also loved the friendship side to it, how the characters found others similar to themselves and how they worked at their friendship to. Seeing Maggie experience her 'firsts' both the bad and then the good side to it, was a nice touch to the book, showing her as a 'normal' teenager that can be easy to relate to with younger readers.

Final Verdict
Coming Up For Air was a book I wish I had tackled earlier. I loved getting to revisit this world, to meet new characters as well as catching up with some familiar faces and seeing where they are now. I enjoyed getting to see the characters learn about themselves, as well as their feelings towards each other, and seeing how it all ends.

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