I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
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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 loved this one and I really think all of the other Hundred Oaks fans will as well. Kenneally does what she does so great in all of the previous books in this one as well. She takes great characters and difficult subjects and puts them together and makes a book that shows teens dealing with issues that are relevant to them in a relatable and very readable way. And she also makes them enjoyable for someone like me, who’s much older than the characters and already gone through what most of them are dealing with. As someone on the other side, I can say that this book has great messages for teens but not in a heavy-handed way. I obviously can’t say how teens will react to this book but I loved it and I think it should be one that’s in every library and that every teen girl should read it! (Yes, boys too, of course but I would have loved to have had a book like this as a teen girl.)
The two main characters in this one are just adorable. I loved how dedicated Maggie was to swimming and how focused and how she never whined about how it took her away from other high school experiences. She was talented and worked hard and wanted to be the best and it really felt like she deserved it. I loved her friendship with Levi and their romance and watching them go from friends to lovers. He’s one of my favorites and I really love seeing good guys in YA romances. I loved the small group of friends she had and their weekly dinner and how much they supported and loved each other. And how they didn’t feel weird saying those things to each other. And I loved the sex positive messages in this book and the idea that teen girls have “urges” too and that that’s okay. It’s rare to get a book that doesn’t have slut shaming when one of the characters is having sex and that sends the message that being with someone you trust and respect and love and are being safe with can be a good thing. We get messages all the time that guys just have sex in high school and that it’s to be expected and actually celebrated but any girl who wants to have sex or actually does is a slut and that can be very damaging to girls in high school who are developing hormones and feelings just like guys are but are punished instead of celebrated for those feelings. So to have a book that shows high schoolers having safe, protected, consensual sex where a guys is respectful and the girls are supportive and honest is a really good thing. But even without that stuff, this book is just adorable and swoony and sweet!
I really did enjoy this book and while I’m sad to see the Hundred Oaks series ending, I’m glad it’s lastest this long and that we’ve been able to follow so many characters over the years. If you haven’t read this series, I highly recommend it. It deals with issues like sex and death and drugs and religion and class and family and friendships and romances and pretty much all of them have favorite characters of mine in them. I hope you’ll give them a try. And if you have read the whole series, make sure you read this one. There’s an epilogue at the end and it’s actually good and sweet and so perfect for fans who’ve been with these characters from the beginning. So check these ones out!!