Young Delight Review: Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally

Young Delight Review: Coming Up For Air by Miranda KenneallyComing Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally

Genres: Sports Romance, YA Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 4 July 2017
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars      two-flames

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.

No 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?

The Delight

Coming Up For Air will tuck well into the summer tote or backpack with swimming, competing, and coming of age mixed with a friends to lovers YA romance.

Review

Coming Up For Air could do alright standalone as can all the books in the Hundred Oaks series, I suspect.  I’ve only read three and each were not in order though I did just fine.  Now that said, the first couple and their friends and family play roles in the later books so you can see how the past teens turn out as adults.

Coming Up For Air is not particularly angsty or complex.  It flows nice and easy, but read fast for me.  It reads almost like a journal though not dry and boring, at all.  It’s told first person from Maggie’s perspective.

Maggie is the narrator and so the reader learns what life as a teen Olympic hopeful is like as well as how Maggie learns to deal with a close friend’s betrayal and subsequent rivalry in the pool, to understand and accept herself and that life happens at its own pace, and to navigate the world of competition sports balanced with the rest of life.

Maggie can get stuck inside her head, which usually annoys me to high heaven when reading 1st Person POV, but it really worked for me this time.  She overthinks things and has the idea that everything is about planning, training, and executing like it is in the pool and doesn’t get that you can’t push attraction or relationships or control whether someone will like you and be your friend or not.

Speaking of disappointment with friends, if I had a niggle with this book it was that mean girl thing Roxy was doing that seemed bigger than trying to be the top female state high school swimmer.  It was never explained and just sort of faded away.  Maybe that’s the point- sometimes the loss of friendships and people acting ugly never get explained or resolved.

There is also the interesting element that this is about kids who must sacrifice for their sport because they want to be the best and compete at the highest levels.  It was interesting getting an inside look at that side of things.  Maggie and her athlete friends never get a normal high school life whether it is school schedule, social life, or even food choices.  They always have to decide if they really want it bad enough and other kids and people don’t understand
And, I’m just guessing, but I think the world of swimming was depicted rather well both at the competitions and behind the scenes in practice.

Incidentally, Coming Up For Air was a great handling of parents and other adults.  Maggie’s dad and mom both got some good scenes with her.  Two scenes with her dad jumped out at me- one hilarious (dads and condom shopping make for an utterly humiliating experience) and one poignant (talking life, competitions, and love).  Levi’s family was very different, but like Maggie, he could count on them. His dad left his mom, but he lives with his mom and his Dutch grandparents.   And it is so fun that Jordan Woods the heroine from book one is Maggie’s high school health teacher and an athlete mentor for her.

As to the romance, it is a big part of the story since Maggie naively propositioned her best friend, Levi, who has been sexually active to teach her about getting with guys.  It had all the awkwardness to make it authentic and the right amount of stops and starts to provide a solid conflict and developed romance.  While Maggie is learning and maturing, Levi is as well.  They are good together as friends, but I enjoyed seeing it grow into more.

YA Warnings:  Language n/a, Violence n/a, Sex moderate.  Recommend to mid- older teens and adults.

All in all, it was another fantastic outing into the Hundred Oaks sporty YA contemporary romance series.  Definitely a great choice for a good coming of age.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #169
YA Blogger Shame #29
Mt. TBR #81
New Release #88
COYER #3

Recommendations

Some Kind of Normal by Juliana Stone Review Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross 
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • it’s the first time I hear about this one but it looks like a good romance!

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I read ‘Stealing Parker’ by the same author, and it was okay. I didn’t realize this was part of a series. I always like that! Spotting characters from other stories. 🙂 Nice review, Sophia Rose!

    • I still need to read that one. I seemed to have managed every other. 🙂

  • I like the Olympics angle of this story. And glad to hear the parents were presented well.

    • Yeah, that was pretty need to me as well.

  • That sounds like an interesting story.

  • Karen

    I love this series. I think Kenneally writes teens really well and shows a nice balance between home life/friends/dating/education. Usually that all takes a back seat to the romance.

    I thought this one was a little steamier too. lol

    For What It’s Worth

    • Hey, yes, Karen. It was a fun one and steamier. LOL

  • I haven’t read this author before but I am happy to hear that this is a YA novel with parents! Funny how so many seem to forget about those 🙂

    • Ha! Yes, funny that. She does a good all-around job it seems.

  • There’s something about contemporary and YA that scream summer to me. LOL I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one. This is an author I’ve been meaning to try.

    Great review.

    • This one definitely screaming summer with that pool scene. Loved it. Hope you get the chance to try her books, Angie!

  • Oh good! I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one. I have Catching Jordan on my list. The covers are so cute and they sound good 🙂

    • That’s great! Jordan is one of my favorite heroines of the series. She is in this one, too- years after her own book as the teacher. 🙂

      They are very cute covers. My favorite is Jesse’s Girl.