An Olympic-caliber swimmer seeks gold in romance in the latest of Kenneally’s interconnected Hundred Oaks series.
As a teenage swimmer who’s trying desperately to make the cut for the Olympic trials, Maggie’s life is swim, eat, sleep, repeat. The white high school senior’s only break is Friday nights at Jiffy Burger with her friends, including her childhood friend and teammate Levi, also white. Due to swimming, she’s missed a lot of high school experiences—something she feels very keenly when she visits Berkeley, where she will be going in the fall. Her primary swim rival, a white girl with a nose stud named Roxy, is also going to Berkeley, and it seems that Roxy has had plenty of time for romance, unlike Maggie. So she resolves to learn how to make out with a guy before starting college…and who better to teach her than her best friend? After a little coaxing, Levi agrees to show her what to do. As Maggie struggles to both beat Roxy and make the cut for the trials, what was only physical with Levi starts to become something more. Maggie’s present-tense narration is rich with the details of elite student athletics, and she is cleareyed in her exploration of her sexuality, including a look at college hookup culture that manages to be very funny.
The frank depiction of female teenage sexuality elevates this series entry. (Romance. 16-18)