Tuesday, July 04, 2017

We'd meet in the middle: COMING UP FOR AIR.

Coming Up for AirComing Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maggie's entire life is swimming. Since she was a kid, her focus has been on the sport and hopefully qualifying for the Olympics one day. Her best friend, Levi, also swims, and the two spend most of their time together. As they enter their senior year, however, Maggie starts to realize how much of typical teen life she's missed out on because of swimming. In particular: relationships and being with a guy. So Maggie turns to Levi for help. After all, her best friend is well-versed in randomly hooking up with girls at swim meets, so she asks him to teach her to hook up. Maggie doesn't think anything will go wrong with this plan--and that the two can maintain their close friendship. But is that really the case? And can Maggie still focus on the most important year of her swimming career?

I've read a few other books in Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series and really enjoyed them: they are just fun, escapist YA novels. For me, this one wasn't quite up to the others I've read, though I enjoyed the second half more than the first. It took me a long time to get into the story and the characters. The "learn to hook up" premise for the plot was a shaky one, and I missed the main focus on sport and relationships than seem to be the hallmark of Kenneally's other novels. While this genre of book is often a bit predictable, the first half of this one was ridiculously so, and it was a little painful to read at times.

Luckily, I found the second half more in the usual Hundred Oaks style, and I did find myself getting into Maggie and Levi's story more. Maggie irritated me a bit from time to time, but she takes more control over her own life decisions in the second half of the story. I liked Levi a lot and the two's friendship. The second half also centers more on her competitive swimming career, which I enjoyed (the focus on different sports in this series is always a fun, added touch). You can't help but enjoy the romance aspect and get sucked in--it's just a strength of Kenneally's and she does it so well. Overall, while not my favorite of the Hundred Oaks novels, this was a cute book and a fun read, though not the usual quick escape that I was expecting.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Netgalley (thank you!); it is available everywhere as of 07/01/2017.

You can read my reviews of two other books in the series here: BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE and DEFENDING TAYLOR.

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