July 5, 2017

Don't Hold Your Breath • Coming Up for Air

Maggie King is a dedicated swimmer, who spends majority of her free time training and competing in the sport she loves. That doesn’t leave much room for typical high school experiences, like school dances and casual dating. When she ropes her best friend Levi Lucassen into helping her cross one thing – making out with a guy - off her list, she thinks it’s nothing more than agreement between friends. But when Maggie suddenly finds herself developing new feelings for him, she must decide just what she is going to do – about the boy, and about her future.

Coming Up for Air book cover
Plot? I’ve read and enjoyed just about every single novel in the Hundred Oaks series. (In case you were wondering, my top three are this one, this one and this one.) I was looking forward to Coming Up for Air a lot, and this novel 100% lived up to my expectations! As with Kenneally’s previous work, the novel features both an adorable romance (best friends turned something more, which is a favorite trope of mine) and a girl who struggles with making sense of things for herself. I’ve always admired the way Kenneally weaves her stories together, and she does it again here. There is a lightness to the story that is evident in the laugh out loud moments, and swoon-worthy romantic bits. But there’s also a seriousness to it, centered primarily around Maggie’s shifting perspective of herself and her take on certain things in life, like romance. It makes for one compulsively readable book, and I flew through the pages of this one in no time at all!

Characters? I immediately fell in love with Maggie King. She’s a driven athlete, committed to becoming the best she can be at her sport and willing to sacrifice to do so. She’s also smart, funny, loyal, and very relatable in her own insecurities and doubts about life. It was a treat to watch her grow into herself! Apart from Maggie, I also loved her family, her best friends, her swim team coach, and of course, the boy she falls for who is also her best friend Levi Lucassen. Kenneally has a knack for writing layered characters, so it’s no surprise that nearly every single one of these folks popped off the pages.

Writing? After eight books, I can confidently say that I appreciate Kenneally’s writing style. She’s very straightforward, balancing the right amount of details to bring her story to life with dialogue that feels very authentic. I always fly through her books, as I’ve mentioned, and her writing is why that’s true.

Overall? Clearly, I adored Coming Up for Air. Kenneally works her magic again with this latest installment, both in writing a story about new characters that I adore and by giving me glimpses of old favorites here and there. It’s a fun, heartfelt read, and perfect for your summer reading list.

Favorite Olympic sport to watch? I do enjoy watching swimming, but my favorite Olympic sports to watch have always been figure skating and gymnastics. It has a lot to do with my fascination at seeing the athletes perform all sorts of graceful, incredible movements with their bodies... especially as someone who is not athletic whatsoever.

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally | Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Source: e-galley downloaded from NetGalley (Thanks!)


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