For What It's Worth

Friday, June 30, 2017

review: coming up for air (hundred Oaks) by miranda kenneally

result_1498666269204Swim. 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? ~ Goodreads

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review:

I requested this book without even knowing what it was about because the entire Hundred Oaks series has been fantastic. However, when I got approved and saw the premise I was hesitant.

The “I’ve never been kissed and need sex tutoring from my more experienced best friend” trope always makes my eyes roll but Kenneally wrote the hell out of it, with charm vulnerability and all the swoons.

Maggie and Levi are both obsessed with swimming and making it to the Olympics. Neither has time for a relationship. Levi uses hook ups to take the edge off his stress, while Maggie avoids the whole thing by laser focusing on training. 

Maggie takes a weekend trip to the college she’s planning on attending after HS and realizes how out of her depth she is in regards to sex and relationships. She wants some experience and trusts her best friend, Levi, to teach her how to be with a guy without hurting her. He's very wary and worried it will ruin their friendship but agrees to do it.

Of course this is going to go wrong silly teens!!!! lol

What stopped this from being an eye rolling trope though was how honest both Levi and Maggie were about the whole thing. Did they get confused and screw up? Yes, but they talked things through and discussed their feelings about sex and their changing relationship. Coming Up for Air turned out to be one of my favorites of this series.

One thing I adore about how Kenneally writes teens, girls in particular, is that there is no one size fits all portrayal. The girls that inhabit the Hundred Oaks world are fully realized – with hobbies, families, faith, educational goals and a healthy interest in sex. What works for one girl (& boy) doesn’t work for them all, and no one is shamed because of their choices.

I believe this is the last book in the series, with the wonderful epilogue bringing us full circle back to Jordan and Sam (Catching Jordan – Book #1) The series is a must read for teens – boys and girls – for its empowering messages and fun filled romances.

Each books stands on its own but I recommend reading the entire series. ~ Series order

23 comments:

  1. THe trope is, well yes I do not like it either, but if it works then that is good

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    1. It's usually forced and contrived - like a sexual bucket list lol - but this was done so well because they were really good friends and open to each other about what they were doing and how it was changing them.

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  2. I've never read any of the other books in the series but this one caught my eye on Goodreads a while back. I'm a big fan of friends to lover type of romances so this one would probably be good for me. lol Great review!

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    1. The whole series is fantastic Julie. I highly recommend it, even if you don't normally read a lot of YA.

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  3. Haven't read anything from Kenneally before but this one sounds really good Karen. I'm always a sucker for teen romance and I have this feeling that I will really enjoy this one. Great review!

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    1. She writes fantastic YA! I highly recommend her books.

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  4. This sounds like a typical stupid teen read!!!! Definitely will feel relatable!:D
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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    1. It isn't. She writes really complex characters and issues. i would rec this author for people who don't usually read YA and definitely to teens.

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  5. I love your review, Karen. You sold it really well. You make me want to read it (and the series) now. Thank you for sharing. :)

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  6. I always laugh at that trope because it usually leads to a relationship. That sounds like a good book and it's a new to me author which I love finding. Thanks for the great review.

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  7. Not into that trope either, but glad it was written well. Liked your explanation of why it was well. Great review!~Aleen

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  8. That just makes me sad that she feels that way at such a young age. Both of them really. I'm glad you enjoyed the story though. I think I'd probably like it if they were a spot older.

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    1. I do think you worry about those things when you're headed to college though. She never even dated in HS because of swimming & it's more like she felt that she missed out on some of those fun things that you do - like school dances, kissing.

      But the series does a great job of the girls not all wanting the same things. Some have experience, some want to stay virgins...I love how honest it is. And all the girls stay focused on their sport and school - they don't forget about it for a boy.

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  9. I like the sound of this just because it covers the topic of teens who are really deep into a sport missing out on normal experiences. I imagine it would be like that for anyone who trains that hard. But it does sound like the author did a really good job with the best friend sex tutoring trope! It's always nice when characters actually communicate and talk!

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    1. It is not my favorite. Of course it never goes well but it seems weird to go through a lost like that with a friend but she makes it work - because she doesn't focus on that and because they are good friends it's never just about the sexual experiences.

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  10. Glad this was done so well. I was reading your review and thought "yeah nothing will go wrong there!" lol, but it's nice she handles it well. I kinda agree w/ Anna's comment but if she is tackling this issue at least she's doing it well. Nice review!

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    1. It's such a silly premise TBH lol but this author handled it well and all the girls from the series are laser focused on their future. This isn't really about losing your mind over a boy.

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  11. oh this book sounds fantastic. I love books like these, that are fun yet hold inspiring messages too.

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  12. Most authors would really struggle to pull off the "sex tutoring from my BFF" trope but it sounds like Kenneally really pulled it off (no real surprise there). And OMG Jordan and Sam make a cameo?! I need this book.

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  13. This sounds like such fun! I'm interested to see how it plays out. Still have yet to pick up these books, but I've heard lots of great things about pretty much every book in the "series". Thanks for the review!

    Cass @ Words on Paper

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  14. It's one of those series I always forget to return to but had no idea how many books have been released since then. Shamefully, the only one I've read is book two, Stealing Parker and really enjoyed it. I might make time to binge the series in the upcoming weeks. Wonderful review Karen, so glad you enjoyed it <3

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  15. I enjoy this series too . I didn't realize that this was her last book in the series. Yes she writes great girls. I enjoyed all the different girls in the series . I can't wait to see what she comes up next.

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