Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally

Posted July 17, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Coming Up for Air by Miranda KenneallyReviewer: Rowena
Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #8
Also in this series: Defending Taylor
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: July 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
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four-stars

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 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?

It’s pretty amazing that this book is the eighth book in the Hundred Oaks series and I’m just as invested in these characters, from that high school as I was in the beginning. Sure, I’ve liked some books more than others but I’m still excited to read these books as if I’d read them for the first time.

This book follows Maggie and Levi. Best friends turned more than best friends. They’re competitive swimmers that grew up together, are always in each other’s pockets and with their schedules as jam packed as they are, they don’t really have much time for friends and relationships and what not. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem because Levi finds the time to hook up with girls and Maggie is too tired for anything more than swim and her weekly night out with her best friends. All of that is enough for Maggie until she goes on a college visit trip and becomes curious. She doesn’t have any experience with boys and now that the idea is in her head, she wants to hook up with someone. She wants to kiss and fool around and really, she wants more than just swimming.

Once that is decided, Maggie tries it on her own with disastrous results so she figures that she needs someone she trusts to help her out and who better than her bestie, Levi?

Levi is not excited about delving into this because Maggie is important to him and he doesn’t have the time and doesn’t want to risk what they have over kissing and hooking up. He’s scared of all of the normal things that will happen with other girls, things he doesn’t want to risk with Maggie but because he can’t say no to her, he goes along. He helps her out. They kiss. They make out. They learn from each other until things start to really heat up.

Maggie and Levi were adorable on their own and I really loved their friendship. They had a solid foundation as friends and I was glad that they were able to get back to that friendship once the waters were tested and their bond was shaken a little. Kenneally does a great job of telling both of their sides and helping them figure their stuff out and she does it all so easily. Not once was I bored. Not once was I frustrated with either Maggie or Levi and I really enjoyed seeing them come into their own while not losing what was between them. Sure, it wasn’t easy and their relationship wasn’t perfect but it was still pretty awesome and I really enjoyed being along for their journey.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

Posted August 12, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross and Mark PeriniReviewer: Rowena
You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross, Mark Perini
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Model Finley needs someone to help her shed her "good girl" persona, so she'll try Eddie on for size.

New York City model Finley is fed up with hearing the same feedback at castings: she needs to take some serious action to wipe the "good girl" stamp from her resume if she wants to launch to stardom.

Enter Eddie Wells. He's shallow, predictable…and just as lost as Finley feels. Deep down, Finley is drawn to Eddie's bravado, his intensity. Except Eddie is hiding something. A big something. And when it surfaces, both loving and leaving Finley will become so much harder.

I haven’t read too many books by Julie Cross but the ones that I did read, I enjoyed so I looked forward to digging into this one.

Finley is a model who can’t land any big time jobs because she’s too sweet and too cute and fashion designers are booking the edgy models, the hint of bad girl models for their photo shoots and it’s pissing Fin off because she needs work. In an effort to shake her good girl vibe off, she has a one night stand with Eddie Wells who is new to the model scene.

Eddie is supposed to be at Princeton but his pretty looks have landed him with a modeling job, an agent and a life that he needs to spend some time trying to figure out. He’s got a secret that he’s keeping and Fin knows that she should stay away but like I always say, the heart wants what it wants and Eddie and Fin want each other so it’s hard to stay away when you really don’t want to.

Seeing these two try to figure out their futures made for a really interesting read. I was prepared for a lot of shallow characters that smoked too much pot, drank too much of everything and got on my nerves but what I got was people getting their hustle on. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of partying going on but Finley and Eddie were too focused on their lives and their jobs to partake in anything offered at any of those parties that all the other models were going to.

I liked both Eddie and Finley. I liked them individually but I also really liked them together. I loved that Eddie didn’t kid himself when he would think about Finley. He kept track of how many times he accidentally (not even remotely accidental) bumped into Finley in their apartment building and I loved how much Finley cared about everything and everyone. She was a nurturer and I loved seeing her with her family. I also really liked seeing Eddie fit himself into Finley’s family too because his family sucked big donkey balls.

I loved how he went from having on support system in his life to having Fin and her brothers and her Dad. His problems made my heart hurt and I loved how him and Fin became a team and tackled their individual problems together. The love that blossomed between them was too cute for words. I loved how they supported each other in the big things but even in the small things. I just loved them to pieces.

I was a bit bummed with the way that things worked out in the end because they didn’t end the way that I was expecting it to end but still, this was a great story about two models finding themselves and love in New York City. It was a hit for me.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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