Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Sketch: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

By: Miranda Kenneally
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: 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?

First Thought After Finishing: I really love Miranda Kenneally’s books!

As a teenager and in my early adult years, I was never a huge sports person. I remember when Catching Jordan released, and I almost didn't read it because it was about football. But a friend told me how good it was, so I gave it a chance. Looking back now, I can't believe I almost missed the great stories of Hundred Oaks!

Maggie eats, sleeps, and breathes swimming. As a competitive swimmer hoping to make an Olympic trial, she has time for little else. Her best friends are also athletes, and though they take one night a week off, the rest of their time is spent training. But Maggie knows that high school is ending soon, and college life without her friends is getting closer and closer. She doesn’t want to be the only girl there with no experience. So she asks her friend and swimming teammate Levi to teach her how to hook up. It was supposed to be easy and fun. Her Olympic trial was supposed to fall into place. So what is she to do when feelings might make everything fall apart?

Maggie is one of those teens that even as an adult I admire. She knows what she wants, and she has the discipline to get there. It’s hard to have that level of focus and drive in high school, but Maggie has it. Only that means her social life has suffered quite a bit. I found myself relating to Maggie from the beginning. In high school, I spent all of my time doing homework and missed the whole social scene that other teens seem to have. I found myself living vicariously through Maggie. I wish I had been brave enough to ask what she did—or even to ask someone out. She took charge of what she wanted (and what she didn’t want), and I applauded her for doing so.

But this book has more than swimming and sex—there are relationships with friends, relationships with parents and teachers/coaches, and relationships with frenemies. I loved how this book showed all the different facets of life. Jordan (from Catching Jordan) plays an important role here, and it was fun to see her again and see the Hundred Oaks characters’ lives interwoven. And then there was Levi, Maggie’s friend-turned-teacher. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but the chemistry was undeniable. Finally, I loved how involved Maggie’s swimming coach and her parents were in her life. So many young adult books have absentee parents, and it was nice to see a different perspective here.

I have to admit that I'm not ready to say goodbye to this world. The way characters favorite characters have cameo roles and their lives intertwine made these novels something special. But I am looking forward to seeing what magic Miranda spins next!

Most Memorable Aspect: The life lessons that Maggie learns.


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