The last Hundred Oaks book, and I am oh so sad that this series is ending. 🙁 But at least I still got a few books to read, and I can always re-read the whole series again. But still, I wouldn’t mind more Hundred Oaks books.
This book features several themes and they were all perfectly worked out and it never felt like too much. We have friendship, swimming, competitions, sex/relationships, college, and more.
In this one our girl Maggie is feeling left out. Everyone of her friendgroup has had sex, has a boyfriend/girlfriend, and she is so busy with swimming and competitions that she just doesn’t have time. Plus she is afraid she would do it wrong. She is off to college soon and she wants to be a bit more experienced as to not scare the boys away. This was quite relatable to me. Not the swimming, but the whole all my friends have gone so much further than me, is that normal? Should I do something? I know I had the same thoughts when I was her age. That it felt like I was the last one to ever do anything. That I should have done something way earlier. Thankfully, I learned that everyone goes at it at their own pace. Some are early, some are quick, and some just take a while or want to wait. It is all normal. And I was hoping that Maggie would also see that she doesn’t have to hurry. That she is doing fine. And she did!
Of course, I didn’t mind her and Levi getting it on. 😛 While it took me a while for me to see them as a couple, or even had me rooting for them. Sorry, it just felt a bit cliche to have two best friends go for it. But eventually I did start rooting for them. To make it all official. To tell each other of their feelings (because come on it is clear that both of them have feelings, even if Maggie keeps saying she is just experimenting). I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and Levi didn’t make it any easier with the dumb thing he did. But I guess I can understand, they are about to split up to two different sides of the country. Long distance isn’t easy. Plus there is the whole they have been friends for years and years, is the friendship still going to work should everything fail?
But Levi and Maggie’s changing relationship, and the sexy times, weren’t the only thing in this book. We also see the lives of Maggie’s friends. Hunter and his love for Shelby who doesn’t want to make it official + the fact he has to go to a school where everyone of his family went to. Then there is Georgia who is now a cheerleader and has to watch what she eats, she has a demanding mom, and a new relationship (though she is still a bit hesitant about it due to what happened with her previous relationship). I loved Maggie’s friends, and I loved that they got together quite a few times whenever they could. To talk about their week, to talk about their love, to talk about sports, to talk about parents. They really are a tight group of friends.
And of course, since this is a Hundred Oaks book, the focus is also on the sports. This time competitive swimming. Both Levi and Maggie are pretty dang awesome in the water. Levi especially kills it in the water, but Maggie is also a great swimmer though she still has to learn not to focus on her opponents and also not worry about every detail. I loved reading about the competitions, about how they started swimming, how hard they work to get somewhere and then especially the Olympics. To see the training, to see their coach. To see them wake up at ungodly hours of the morning and train for hours.
We also see that at times it isn’t easy and that sometimes they miss normal life. Going on dates, going out with friends, prom (then again that is only normal in countries that have prom :P), all sorts of other things.
Roxy, Maggie’s rival, was an annoying girl. I especially disliked how she kept making remarks (either online or at the meets), how she seemed to take pleasure in being mean towards Maggie. I just wanted to throw the girl into the water. It amazes me that, seemingly the coaches and such know about what Roxy does, but don’t do anything about it.
I have to say I wasn’t amused with Maggie constant jealousy issues. I actually felt sorry for Levi. Every time he just glanced at a girl, or even dared to speak to her, Maggie went full jealous. Thinking that he didn’t want her, that he would rather want someone else, that he was doing it with another girl, etc. etc.. It just got on my nerves. If it happened once? Like with Roxy? I could understand, but every time a girl gets close to Levi Maggie’s shackles just went sky high. Dear girl, that is not healthy behaviour. Your friend/boyfriend is allowed to also talk to other girls or even laugh or even hug them. Really.
I thought it was a bit irresponsible to let a girl, so afraid, go on the road on her own in a car. I get that she probably has to learn somehow, but it just felt dumb. At least have someone go with her until she is used to driving and isn’t so afraid. Also weirdly, I guess that people don’t get tickets for going too slow? As at times she drove WAY below the limit and even endangered others who were driving the right way. I know here you could potentially get a ticket for this behaviour as it is endangering other drivers.
But all in all a very lovely book, and I was also happy to see Sam and Jordan again, and also get a bit of an epilogue about them (and Maggie/Levi).
I would recommend it to everyone!