Miranda Kenneally is one of my auto-buy authors. I adore her Hundred Oaks series, and I am sad that Coming Up for Air is the final book in it.
One of my favorite parts about the Hundred Oaks series is how each book (for the most part) focuses on a different sport. As an athlete in high school myself, this was what first attracted me to the series five years ago (that and the fact that the first book’s main character is a girl named Jordan). Coming Up for Air continues this trend with the focus on swimming this time.
Maggie eats, sleeps, and swims. Her sole focus is on earning a spot on the Olympic swim team. However, as her senior year of high wraps up, Maggie realizes that she has missed out on the normal, stereotypical high school experiences. The only thing she really wants to do before going off to college, though, is learn to hook up. And who better than to teach her than best friend and fellow swimmer, Levi.
Levi agrees to teach Maggie on one condition: that they keep things open and honest each other in order to not ruin their friendship. However, this is easier said than done, and intense feelings soon develop. Maggie and Levi try to navigate what this means for their relationship, but they run into communication difficulties. I really appreciated how dedicated Maggie and Levi are in maintaining their friendship and not giving up on each other. Even though they end up hurting each other, they still find a way to forgive and not lose their friendship—a real sign of maturity.
There’s more to Coming Up for Air than just the romance. At its core, like all the Hundred Oaks books, Coming Up for Air is about each girl discovering herself. Not only is Maggie becoming more comfortable with her body in this book, but she is also evolving as a swimmer. As she runs into roadblocks in her races, Maggie opens herself to new options. Most importantly, she learns to compete against herself and to not get caught up about what other people think or say about her.
Overall, Coming Up for Air is a strong conclusion to Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. If you haven’t checked this series out yet, it is a must read! If you’re already a fan, you will love this latest addition and adore the bonus epilogue at the end.
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.*