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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?
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I wasn’t aware going into Coming Up For Air that this was the last book in the Hundred Oaks series. This series has been such a comforting and pleasant presence in my reading life, so I’m sad that it’s over. For me, these books have consistently grown better and Miranda Kenneally’s strength as a YA writer has only improved. Coming Up For Air was a satisfying conclusion, though I’m going to admit, it wasn’t my favorite book from the author for a couple of reasons.
I don’t quite get why friends-to-lovers romances aren’t as prevalent in YA. They always make for a sweet trope, and we get that here in Coming Up For Air. Maggie and Levi have a great friendship between them, that evolves into chemistry when Maggie propositions Levi to help her gain some experience when it comes to flirting, boys and sex. The foundation of their relationship was solid enough to have me rooting for them. That being said, the romance could be so stressful. Both of them are struggling with these new heightened feelings for each other, and there was some push and pull, that I’m not used to seeing in Miranda’s books that I wasn’t very much of a fan of, to be honest. I guess I just wanted them to be a couple and do coupley things without giving me a headache. Coming Up For Air is also quite sex-positive, which is a trend with Miranda Kenneally’s books, one that I’m always grateful for, because she handles it with finesse. I liked how both Levi and Maggie were portrayed as these teens who had urges and were frequently horny. The sexy times scenes were touching, and done beautifully, in my opinion, not explicitly, but written in a way that was sensitive and not all gratuitous.
For the most part, I liked the characters in Coming Up For Air. Both Maggie and Levi were likable characters, and you want to root for them. Both their passion and struggles with swimming were one of the highlights of the book for me. Speaking of swimming, I loved how focused the book was on swimming – it’s one of the only sports I happen to enjoy. Anyways back to the characters. Though I did like them, I didn’t feel they were particularly memorable, mostly because they lacked a bit of depth and development. They weren’t terrible, but just not up to the standards I have come to expect from Miranda Kenneally. I did love all the friendships here, and how supportive these kids of each other. It always makes me happy to see characters with good friends, being rocks to one another.
Coming Up For Air ended with a splendid epilogue that was an absolute precious gift to fans of the series – it was seriously PERFECT. While this installment wasn’t my favorite, I’m never not going to recommend this series. They are truly amazing coming of age stories with great characters. I’m excited to see where Miranda Kenneally takes readers next.