Coming Up For Air

Miranda Kenneally


5 ★ – Swoony Summer Read
Published by Sourcebooks Fire July 4, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: Paperback 320
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I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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?

I’ve seen Miranda Kenneally’s  books around for a while now, but haven’t had the interest to pick one up since I’m not too keen on sports themes and romance together. But I’ve been on a YA contemporary romance phase lately and the premise sounds really exciting and I love friends to lovers stories sooo I clicked that request button. I’ll have you know that I’m definitely happy I got approved because Coming up for Air is such swoony summer read.

I dove into this book not knowing if I would enjoy it, and I loved EVERYTHING. From the writing, the friendships, the characters, the humor, the plot, the ending, the romance and all that FEELS…. I LOVED IT ALL. This book is just so huggable – it’s light, funny, and so stinking cute.

Levi and Maggie are so adorable together and such great characters. I loved the progression of their relationship from best friends to lovers which totally had me SWOONING and made me want my very own Levi. There’s plenty of steamy kisses, sexy moments and that undeniable push and pull that left me wanting more. I was definitely rooting for both of them on and off the swimming pool.

I also loved Maggie and her group of friends. Their amazing friendship was absolutely endearing and so fun to read. They’re such a great support system for one another both socially and professionally, especially since all of them are facing a lot pressure in their respective sports. I admired them for their dedication, determination and passion to be better athletes and succeed in their goals.

This book couldn’t have been more perfect. It’s sweet, funny, charming, and entertaining. The plot moved fairly quickly and was a bit predictable at times, but that didn’t take away from the heart of the story. I may not have been a fan of sports and romance together, but Kenneally’s amazing story telling definitely won me over. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.

If you’re looking for a quick and adorable YA contemporary romance to help you unwind and beat the summer heat, look no more cause Coming Up for Air will surely drown you with so much cuteness and swoon worthy moments.

Again just wanted to say HUGE thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for giving this ARC free of charge.

Sincerely Karen Jo


The Red Sun

The Legends of Orkney #1

by Alane Adams


4.25 ★ – Fun, Exciting, and Magical Adventure
Published by Sparkpress August 4th 2015
Genre(s) Middle Grade, Fantasy, Mythology
Pages: Paperback 346
Buy Barnes and Noble, Amazon,, Indiebound

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

After meeting a strange dwarf in his garage and finding out his substitute English teacher is a witch, twelve-year-old Sam Baron travels through a stonefire to the magical realm of Orkney where he finally learns the truth about his past: his mother is a witch and his father is a descendant of the Norse god, Odin.

“The Red Sun” is the first book in The Legends of Orkney, the spellbinding series of adventure fantasy novels by Alane Adams. It follows Sam to the realm of Orkney where witches, wraiths, and other menacing creatures cause serious peril to the unsuspecting Sam. Now, it’s up to him to save his friends and all of Orkney from a cursed red sun. Can a young witch girl named Mavery help him?


My cousin, Mellanie, who is an avid reader, booknerd and book revier, recommended this series to me. I don’t read Middle Grade books that often so I tend to be pickier when it comes to that genre, but Mellanie raved so much about The Red Sun I knew I had to read it. While it took me longer than I thought to finish reading, I thoroughly enjoyed The Red Sun.

Alane Adams is such a sweetheart and a great writer. I love that she wrote The Red Sun for her son and you can tell that she put her heart into the story. She lures you in with an intriguing premise and throws you in an exciting, enthralling, and fun-filled journey to a magical place. The world building is fantastic and imaginative filled with beautiful scenery and unique creatures that will have thinking about Harry Potter or LOTR. The story has plenty of action, suspense, and humorous dialogue that will keep you on the edge and entertained. Though a great book for children, I think The Red Sun is an amazing story for all ages who loves fantasy and adventure.


I though the characters are all pretty great and relatable. Sam is a wonderful young hero and I felt for him. The constant struggle to choose between saving a kingdom you’ve never known or saving your friends is quite difficult for anyone let alone a 12 year old boy. Sam is given this big responsibility and he’s not even sure he wants it, but he’s still doing the best he can. I rooted for him throughout the story and wanted him to succeed. I loved that he showed vulnerabilities and flaws and eventually learned to become the hero he’s meant to be. Sam’s group of friends are just awesome and I loved them all. Howie made me laugh with his silliness but I loved that he’s actually really smart, very resourceful and brave. And Mavery… well that little mischief definitely stole my heart and my favorite out of all the characters. She’s so feisty and such a firecracker. She’s full of surprises and while she acts tough, deep down she’s a real softy with a big heart. She’s fiercely loyal to Sam and is willing to do anything to save Orkney.


Overall, The Red Sun is a great Middle Grade fantasy book. Adams does a nice job weaving Norse Mythology in this fun adventurous tale of good vs. evil. I can’t wait to travel back into this magical world in Kalifus Rising and continue Sam’s journey.

Sincerely Karen Jo