If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you probably know that I love Miranda Kenneally’s contemporary romances, and Coming Up for Air is another hit. If you have this series in your library, you will definitely need to add this one, which is the eighth in the series.
SUMMARY: As an Olympic-hopeful, 17-year old Maggie doesn’t have time for romance. She doesn’t have time for anything, really, except to swim, swim, swim. But after a visit to her prospective university, Maggie starts to wonder if she’s missed out on high school romance. She’s only been kissed once, a disaster, and she’s never had a boyfriend. When Maggie decides she needs some experience before she goes off to college, she turns to her best friend and fellow Olympic-hopeful, Levi, in the hopes that she can get some experience without the drama of a relationship.
REVIEW: Oh, Miranda Kenneally, why must you constantly keep me up waaayyy past my bedtime? I have read all of the Hundred Oaks books (this was #8!), and while I do have my favorites, I devoured every single book. The seeing-the-best-friend-in-a-new-way theme mimics Catching Jordan a bit, and Miranda Kenneally seems to acknowledge that with Jordan’s talks with Maggie. As Maggie’s PE coach and health teacher, Jordan Woods makes more than her usual brief cameo in this one.
A quick reminder–you do not need to read these books in order. Characters from previous books do make appearances, but each book is about different characters who all attend the same high school. All their stories stand independently of one another.
So this is about Maggie and Levi. I loved both of them! Maggie is sufficiently awkward and, despite being an Olympic-worthy swimmer, she is surprisingly normal. I think many girls can relate to her, and I love the message that it’s okay to be almost-18 and still not have had a boyfriend. Many, many years ago, I was in the same boat, sister.
Levi kind of got on my nerves a bit, but though he was a complete bonehead at times, he was perfect for Maggie. Love the best friend romances–they really are the ones that last.
I might have laughed out loud a few times. Especially that scene where Maggie runs into her Dad at the drugstore. And Levi’s Dutch grandparents are the cutest couple ever!
Cute cover! I like how it goes with the rest of the series. They even got the cover models right, right down to Maggie’s unruly brown waves, Levi’s gray t-shirts, and how much taller Levi is than Maggie.
So is Coming Up for Air my favorite Kenneally book yet? Nope, that honor still goes to either Things We Can’t Forget and Breathe, Annie, Breathe. It doesn’t matter though–I still loved it and sucked it down, just like I do with all the Hundred Oaks books.
Considering the epilogue, I have to wonder if this the last book in the series. The author’s note doesn’t say, so I’m hoping there is still at least one more to come. I’ve heard there are to be nine in the series, but that’s only rumor on Goodreads. Maybe Noah, a basketball player who asks Maggie out on a date, will get a story next time?
THEMES: friendship, determination, swimming, sports, confidence, rivalry, growing up
THE BOTTOM LINE: Another home run from Miranda Kenneally! A must-read for fans of her previous books.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I have all the others in my library, and yes, they are popular. I’ll be getting this one, too. As always with this series, be advised that there are mature sexual situations. The sex itself is very “fade to black” and only one time, but all bases are covered leading up to the home run.
- Overall: 5/5
- Creativity: 5/5
- Characters: 5/5
- Engrossing: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to teens: 5/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: medium; 2 f-bombs, a few sh**
- Sexuality: high; intense making out; second and third base crossed; intercourse (once; nothing described); teens talk about “hooking up” casually, as if it is something everyone does in high school; Maggie is the only virgin character–all her friends have long sexual histories
- Violence: none
- Drugs/Alcohol: very mild; one reference to past raiding of parents’ liquor cabinet
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