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For fans of Nina LaCour and The Spectacular Now, a powerful coming-of-age story about a girl with creative aspirations and the boy who charms his way into her life, centering on themes of addiction, loss, and the tumultuousness of first love—and how to find strength when everything falls apart. Ever since her mom’s cancer scare, Hadley hasn’t been one for taking risks. And For fans of Nina LaCour and The Spectacular Now, a powerful coming-of-age story about a girl with creative aspirations and the boy who charms his way into her life, centering on themes of addiction, loss, and the tumultuousness of first love—and how to find strength when everything falls apart. Ever since her mom’s cancer scare, Hadley hasn’t been one for taking risks. And after seeing her sister go through one too many heartbreaks, she definitely has no interest in dating. Hadley just wants to keep her head down and enjoy the rest of high school with her friends, focusing on her photography and getting into the art school of her dreams. Then enters Braden, star of the swim team and precisely the kind of person Hadley avoids, all bravado and charm and impulsivity. From their first moment together, they are perfect sparring partners, equally matched. And it’s intoxicating. Braden sees her, really sees her, and Hadley decides it might be time to break all her rules. Braden shows Hadley how to live again, and soon Hadley is happier than she’ll ever admit out loud. But that’s before her family is faced with devastating news, and Braden starts hiding a growing, dark secret. As it threatens to shatter everything they’ve built, Hadley must confront her own actions and determine if she has the strength to walk away.


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For fans of Nina LaCour and The Spectacular Now, a powerful coming-of-age story about a girl with creative aspirations and the boy who charms his way into her life, centering on themes of addiction, loss, and the tumultuousness of first love—and how to find strength when everything falls apart. Ever since her mom’s cancer scare, Hadley hasn’t been one for taking risks. And For fans of Nina LaCour and The Spectacular Now, a powerful coming-of-age story about a girl with creative aspirations and the boy who charms his way into her life, centering on themes of addiction, loss, and the tumultuousness of first love—and how to find strength when everything falls apart. Ever since her mom’s cancer scare, Hadley hasn’t been one for taking risks. And after seeing her sister go through one too many heartbreaks, she definitely has no interest in dating. Hadley just wants to keep her head down and enjoy the rest of high school with her friends, focusing on her photography and getting into the art school of her dreams. Then enters Braden, star of the swim team and precisely the kind of person Hadley avoids, all bravado and charm and impulsivity. From their first moment together, they are perfect sparring partners, equally matched. And it’s intoxicating. Braden sees her, really sees her, and Hadley decides it might be time to break all her rules. Braden shows Hadley how to live again, and soon Hadley is happier than she’ll ever admit out loud. But that’s before her family is faced with devastating news, and Braden starts hiding a growing, dark secret. As it threatens to shatter everything they’ve built, Hadley must confront her own actions and determine if she has the strength to walk away.

30 review for Coming Up for Air

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emaan

    I feel obligated to give five stars to a book that made me cry. Also if anyone is wondering no one dies in this book, thank god for that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gmr

    Coming Up for Air comes into play SO MANY times in this novel, I'd almost lost track. First, the obvious one we mentioned because at some point, they do have to do that actual action. Second, it applies to Braden yet again in a life sense. Ever been told you take things too seriously? Yeah, well that was him and the swimming. I mean I get it...it was him working towards his goal of a scholarship based on his athletic talent; a totally worthy goal to say the least. The problem lies in that his fo Coming Up for Air comes into play SO MANY times in this novel, I'd almost lost track. First, the obvious one we mentioned because at some point, they do have to do that actual action. Second, it applies to Braden yet again in a life sense. Ever been told you take things too seriously? Yeah, well that was him and the swimming. I mean I get it...it was him working towards his goal of a scholarship based on his athletic talent; a totally worthy goal to say the least. The problem lies in that his focus was so laser, so single oriented that when things start messing with that direct path, he's not prepared to swerve. He takes on SO much and keeps holding his head high, so that while yes it looks like he's breathing easy, he's actually been holding his breath the whole time. Then we have it in a life sense for our girl, Hadley. She's definitely been treading water, what with her family dealing with her mother's diagnosis and treatment. Add to that college entries, the current school year, and her new boyfriend, Braden. Yeah, okay spoiler alert there, but it's not really because it's pretty much the first thing that happens after we're introduced to the PRESENT and then the PAST. Anyway, why would she need to be coming up for air...especially in the last scenario. Ever get lost in someone? I mean to the point where we don't know where you end and they begin? Yeah, it hits our girl hard, the love bug that is, but there's something else. His problems become her problems and she feels guilty, as if she added to his problems, and that just snowballs from there until it all falls apart, rather spectacularly, and heartbreakingly all at the same time. So you see, the titles applies several times over and in many ways, but in the end, they all add up to taking a moment in your life to actually BREATHE. It's never too late to change course, and the bumps in the road or rough water we encounter are meant for us to grow from and overcome, but if ever they feel like TOO much, there's no harm in reaching out for a helping hand. **copy received for review; opinions are my own

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I loved this book. I read it with the same intensity that I read Everything, Everything and Five Feet Apart . The relationship was amazing (shout-out to Tyndall for creating a lovely first-time scene that allowed for both partners to express their fears, their desires, and to continuously check in on each other throughout) and the whole time you are reading, you know that the Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I loved this book. I read it with the same intensity that I read Everything, Everything and Five Feet Apart . The relationship was amazing (shout-out to Tyndall for creating a lovely first-time scene that allowed for both partners to express their fears, their desires, and to continuously check in on each other throughout) and the whole time you are reading, you know that the story is heading to something tragic (thanks dual timelines!) but you keep thinking that MAYBE, just MAYBE, it won't happen. This is a wonderful addition to realistic fiction shelves in all YA collections. Highly recommend. First purchase type of stuff here. Hadley just broke up with her boyfriend and is sure she is ready to take a break from dating. She's seen what it does to her older sister Remy, who has a revolving door of loser dates, but all of that goes dangerously off the rails when she meets Braden. All-star athlete, rumored "bad-boy", and one of the most charming guys she's ever met. When they're together, she decides to take the risk. And it seems worth it. Until her family receives some tragic news. And Braden starts hiding a dark secret. And then it doesn't feel like love anymore, but something scarier. And Hadley has to wonder if, in the end, her choices were the right ones or if she made a huge mistake.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Crabtree

    My husband did some research and got me this book for Christmas because of my love for both YA and photography, but I hadn’t heard of it. It deals with some heavy subjects, but I couldn’t put it down. The ending was so much better than I imagined it would be. I’ll keep it vague!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karam (bookishskippy)

    4 stars Cried a bit for this book! Review coming out soon. Gosh thank you so much for the arc Times reads.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thay

    Quiero retirar mis comentarios sobre que esta historia era muy predecible, porque los últimos capítulos me demostraron que no lo es. Fue una lectura ligera para iniciar el año. Hadley conocio a Braden (típico personaje YA perfecto, atlético y sarcástico) su vida iba bien, estaba feliz, tenía buenos amigos y su familia estaba completa. Situaciones difíciles empiezan a sucederle y su vida se divide, hay mentiras, preocupaciones y desiciones que la hacen perderse por completo y debe buscar la maner Quiero retirar mis comentarios sobre que esta historia era muy predecible, porque los últimos capítulos me demostraron que no lo es. Fue una lectura ligera para iniciar el año. Hadley conocio a Braden (típico personaje YA perfecto, atlético y sarcástico) su vida iba bien, estaba feliz, tenía buenos amigos y su familia estaba completa. Situaciones difíciles empiezan a sucederle y su vida se divide, hay mentiras, preocupaciones y desiciones que la hacen perderse por completo y debe buscar la manera de regresar, recordándose que no tienes que ser la heroína de alguien que no quiere ser salvado.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amie

    Coming Up for Air is a powerful novel by Nicole B. Tyndall. The author manages to capture the feeling of all-consuming first love between Hadley and Braden. Hadley is torn between the worlds of her boyfriend, family, and longtime best friends. It takes all her strength to choose. I found this novel to be beautifully structured as it flashes back to tell Hadley and Braden's story. Ultimately, I thought it was a beautiful book about finding strength deep within yourself and setting boundaries for h Coming Up for Air is a powerful novel by Nicole B. Tyndall. The author manages to capture the feeling of all-consuming first love between Hadley and Braden. Hadley is torn between the worlds of her boyfriend, family, and longtime best friends. It takes all her strength to choose. I found this novel to be beautifully structured as it flashes back to tell Hadley and Braden's story. Ultimately, I thought it was a beautiful book about finding strength deep within yourself and setting boundaries for healthy relationships, no matter how devastating it feels at the time. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Trigger warning: cancer and cancer treatment, opioid addiction, toxic relationships, teen pressures (sports, college, etc.)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Review to come

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a really sweet story of family and first love. One of my favorite tropes in books is the hate-to-love. While it isn't quite as strong in this novel as it is in others, there is still that build up. Hadley meets Braden after hearing from her sister that he is a womanizing scumbag and to steer clear. He is immediately charming, which only serves to raise her hackles even more, despite her grudgingly Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was a really sweet story of family and first love. One of my favorite tropes in books is the hate-to-love. While it isn't quite as strong in this novel as it is in others, there is still that build up. Hadley meets Braden after hearing from her sister that he is a womanizing scumbag and to steer clear. He is immediately charming, which only serves to raise her hackles even more, despite her grudgingly acknowledging the attraction. As their romance blooms, her family's worst fear about her mother's cancer remission is realized. Suddenly, Hadley is juggling her family responsibilities and the stress of a sick parent with a boyfriend who seems to be spiraling out after an injury that could potentially set back his swimming dreams. The story alternates before and after an accident, which isn't fully described until quite a bit later in the book. While this was good for building a degree of suspense and for keeping me turning the pages, I also feel like it did a bit of disservice to the story of Hadley and Braden's romance. For this being the story of her first great love, there were only a few real scenes between the two of them, and I was left wanting just a bit more. Regardless, I thought this was a lovely story of love and family and heartbreak and recovery and seeing what was right in front of you the whole time. It ended on a really great note, and I felt pleased with how it all wrapped up. Definitely a good read, and I would happily read more by this author!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emelie

    Wow! This was so much more dark than I was expecting! Full review to come soon

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    The foreshadowing is thick throughout the first half of the book. Hadley's supportive and successful mom battled cancer four years ago, and her perfect and competitive boyfriend suffers a sports injury. About half way through - after she and Braden go on cute dates, full of adorable banter, and have sex - the cancer comes back and Hadley is in denial about Braden's pain-killer addiction. Her friends are so awesome that they don't seem realistic. I was really invested in the outcome and the concl The foreshadowing is thick throughout the first half of the book. Hadley's supportive and successful mom battled cancer four years ago, and her perfect and competitive boyfriend suffers a sports injury. About half way through - after she and Braden go on cute dates, full of adorable banter, and have sex - the cancer comes back and Hadley is in denial about Braden's pain-killer addiction. Her friends are so awesome that they don't seem realistic. I was really invested in the outcome and the conclusion was satisfying.

  12. 5 out of 5

    A

    I’m not crying, you’re crying. RATING: 4.5 (I rounded up to 5 because goodreads doesn’t allow decimals) SUMMARY: Coming Up for Air is a heart wrenching novel that takes the reader through Hadley’s life. Hadley, a teen who’s sworn off relationships after the heavy influence her mother’s cancer diagnosis had left on her breaks her own rules when Braden comes into her life. Braden is the bad boy star swimmer; in other words, not even close to someone Hadley thought she’d fall for. He falls for her as I’m not crying, you’re crying. RATING: 4.5 (I rounded up to 5 because goodreads doesn’t allow decimals) SUMMARY: Coming Up for Air is a heart wrenching novel that takes the reader through Hadley’s life. Hadley, a teen who’s sworn off relationships after the heavy influence her mother’s cancer diagnosis had left on her breaks her own rules when Braden comes into her life. Braden is the bad boy star swimmer; in other words, not even close to someone Hadley thought she’d fall for. He falls for her as much as she falls for him and helps her through the hardships she deals with at home regarding her mother’s health. However, what Hadley didn’t know was that Braden had hardships of his own too. (Please note that this isn’t a spoiler, seeing as this was mentioned right from the beginning. The story begins in present day and returns to the past, going back and forth.) MY OPINION: As I was reading this, I definitely got the same feelings I did when reading “If I Stay.” I was questioning their lives and like Hadley, was trying to figure out when their relationship took the drastic turn. The author developed these characters amazingly and although my opinions on them continued to change, I was able to get so much about them. I loved Braden and Hadley. Their relationship was so cute, and Braden really made Hadley’s life better. He held her up in her darkest moments, and it really shone through. As much as I loved these two, when the story reaches its climax I was happy with what happened. The continuous actions that occurred (if you read the book you definitely know what I’m talking about) tore me apart, and I began to ache for Hadley. It was terrible, but she was so persistent on being the same rock he once was. I was also really really satisfied with the ending of the book. Not all books are happy or very depressing, and I’m glad the author didn’t do that. She did not only a realistic ending, but one that you can infer with. It was complete, and allowed me to assume what Hadley’s life would look like in the future, because the main problem was over with. It’ll literally leave you broken in pieces because of the serious topics it discusses. PROS/CONS: Pros: - Character Development: as I mentioned earlier, all of the important characters’ stories were told amazingly. I often find that can be difficult when it’s only written in the main character’s perspective. - Evokes Emotion: If you know me as a reader, any sappy love story makes me happy. But the further I got into the book, I didn’t stay that way. Though I was going in for a fluffy read, I didn’t come out with one, but I promise you this plot, this story, the lives of these characters will bring out some emotions. - Major Topics Were Effective: Now more than ever, I feel like some authors try to include social issues into their novels to make it more impactful. In actuality, a good book doesn’t NEED to be heavy. As much as I say that, the heavy topics that were handled in “Coming Up for Air” were done so well that they gave me a new perspective. I always like learning about these issues through books because it gives me a situation that very well could happen. (For anyone interested in the exact topics; mental health, addiction, depression, toxic relationships, etc.) Cons: Okay I know this is dumb, but I can’t really think of anything. It was amazing :’) OVERALL: I definitely think you should read this book. If you think you can handle topics like the ones I mentioned, it’ll be and amazing novel to learn from, and for you to enjoy at the same time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nisa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. DEFINITELY 10/5 STARS. HI! I’m so bad at reviewing and expressing my feelings, plus it’s my first time doing this here, but... I’m not okay. The ending is... something. But... I do have something to say before I can finally let go of this masterpiece. Look, I get it. Hadley wants to think that there is “something” between her and Tyler? Sure, go ahead. Whatever. But I feel like this moment is perfect for her to “stay out of guys” or whatever the plan was. Remember the plan, right? Right before Braden DEFINITELY 10/5 STARS. HI! I’m so bad at reviewing and expressing my feelings, plus it’s my first time doing this here, but... I’m not okay. The ending is... something. But... I do have something to say before I can finally let go of this masterpiece. Look, I get it. Hadley wants to think that there is “something” between her and Tyler? Sure, go ahead. Whatever. But I feel like this moment is perfect for her to “stay out of guys” or whatever the plan was. Remember the plan, right? Right before Braden, she made a plan not to deal with guys for a moment. And I know that there is YET nothing going on between Had and Ty... but still—it’s a good opportunity to heal, to refresh, just to clear her head and heart. I know she’s only 18, but the events happened in her life recently were—ARE—brutal. I believe she does not need any guys in her life right now. The ending... well, sure, it gives us closure about Had and Ty’s “relationship”, but it’s a little too forced? I’m sorry. I’d prefer an alternate ending where Hadley would just go somewhere on her own—escaping—with her camera, and just that. She needs to be with herself more than anything or anyone else.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    This was surprisingly good for how much I hated the beginning. I was SO worried this was going to be a classic girl meets boy thing but it got SO much better as it went on. Braden was an ass for the first few seconds but I really liked him after I got over that and was grateful at how much he changed. Hadley was a great person to follow around, very interesting and funny. I was dying at how cute they were w each other but also noticed the red flags as Hadley was, a person her age shouldn’t have This was surprisingly good for how much I hated the beginning. I was SO worried this was going to be a classic girl meets boy thing but it got SO much better as it went on. Braden was an ass for the first few seconds but I really liked him after I got over that and was grateful at how much he changed. Hadley was a great person to follow around, very interesting and funny. I was dying at how cute they were w each other but also noticed the red flags as Hadley was, a person her age shouldn’t have to deal with what she did. Though she did do the right thing- letting Braden go when he started to get worse w his addiction. It was painfully obvious that Tyler liked Hadley, I’m just glad he didn’t push her or get mad that she had a boyfriend or anything like that- it made me like him even more. I just loved how this wasn’t a classic love story because it had so much other stuff going on, there wasn’t unnecessary drama or anything it was just a beautiful story about first love, heartbreak, drugs and dealing w a sick parent. Lovely story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Wow, this was really powerful and was so close to being a five-star book. The characters were all well-rounded and fully fleshed out people that made mistakes and were awkward and had real problems. Hadley’s mom and boyfriend were both in the middle of major health crises and the way it ultimately played out and the way the chapters went back and forth in time was masterful. Hadley takes an existing friendship to a questionable place and that’s the sole reason for the four stars. I’m impressed t Wow, this was really powerful and was so close to being a five-star book. The characters were all well-rounded and fully fleshed out people that made mistakes and were awkward and had real problems. Hadley’s mom and boyfriend were both in the middle of major health crises and the way it ultimately played out and the way the chapters went back and forth in time was masterful. Hadley takes an existing friendship to a questionable place and that’s the sole reason for the four stars. I’m impressed this is the author’s debut novel and I hope she has something else in the works.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Bennett

    I’ve been wanting to read this one since seeing the cover. It’s gorgeous! I also liked the sound of the book as well. I will say that in the beginning it did take a bit to get into not because of the plot or characters, but the writing style was just off for me. I’m glad I stuck through it though. The book is told in past and present chapters. It helps to understand the overall plot which I really enjoyed. Some of the chapters would end on a cliffhanger and switch to the other timeline so then I I’ve been wanting to read this one since seeing the cover. It’s gorgeous! I also liked the sound of the book as well. I will say that in the beginning it did take a bit to get into not because of the plot or characters, but the writing style was just off for me. I’m glad I stuck through it though. The book is told in past and present chapters. It helps to understand the overall plot which I really enjoyed. Some of the chapters would end on a cliffhanger and switch to the other timeline so then I kept wanting to read, ha. Hadley has a great group of friends, does photography, and gets good grades in school. She recently dealt with a break up until she meets Braden in a very awkward way. It wasn’t in her plans, but sometimes plans change. I really did like her character. She finds herself in a relationship that she believes will go right with the type of boy she didn’t expect to like. Not only that, but her mom has been diagnosed with cancer and Braden is hiding a big secret that involves addiction. It’s a lot for a teen to go through. All of her emotions and even actions were something I think anyone would do for the people they care about. The romance is fast but also filled with uncertainty from Hadley due to her recent breakup. She does end up throwing caution to the wind but I don’t blame her. Sometimes we are just blinded by love. There ends up being a lot of issues between them due to addiction and it does play a big role in the book. I think it’s good that things like this are being discussed in books, especially for teens, because it helps to put a spotlight on it. (view spoiler)[Although I thought they would work it out after he went through rehab. Hadley decided she couldn’t be with him anymore before that. I can understand having to let go. I’m not sure how I feel about her and her friend Ty. It was hinted in the beginning and I don’t mind him as a character but we also didn’t get too much of them hanging together either unless they were with their other two friends. (hide spoiler)] Overall, I did enjoy this book. My review is a bit short because I think it’s better to go in knowing as little as possible. It’s filled with love, heartache, and tougher subjects but it’s definitely one worth reading. CW: Addiction, Cancer

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    did i read this entire book in 4 hours after adding it to my want to read shelf? yes i did. i have never had a book put me through so many different emotions. 4.5 stars, i loved it so much. this got me out of my reading slump for sure.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maabena Nti

    This was a really heartfelt book about drugs,love and family. I loved everything about it except the ending with Hadley and Tyler’s relationship.It felt too forced to me especially on Hadley’s part.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Huge thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion! Rtc

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Smith

    Raw and relevant. And what a cover!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

  22. 4 out of 5

    Monica Hay

  23. 4 out of 5

    Allie Belanger

  24. 5 out of 5

    Delfina

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy Tyndall

  26. 4 out of 5

    marlen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zara

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anyja Sayers

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lia

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