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Learning to Swim (Hearts Out of Water Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Annie Cosby
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Learning to Swim is a darkly romantic beginning to what promises to be an unusual contemporary YA fantasy series." --Serena Chase, USA Today

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.

Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?

As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

Editorial Reviews


"Just like summer break in a strange new place, the story begins slowly, but its pace is strangely ... right. And just like all summers, it ends on an entirely too abrupt note that pretty much promises I'll be downloading that sequel as soon as it is available. In the meantime, however, it sucked me in and held me in its sweet and beachy grasp.

Complete with wealthy, preoccupied parental figures, a boy from the wrong side of the beach, and a mysteriously helpful -- but possibly insane -- mentor figure, this novel seems to give a shout-out to some of the heroines from 1980s John Hughes-type movies through Cora's angst-ridden life of privilege, but with the added intrigue of Irish sea lore that may just be true. Learning to Swim is a darkly romantic beginning to what promises to be an unusual contemporary YA fantasy series."

--Serena Chase, USA Today

Product Details

  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 243 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Write For You Publishing (February 23, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,119 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Sissy says: Learning to Swim has layers of backstory, memories, and tragedies, and it was quite engaging--I read it in a couple of days and was kept up at night trying to make sure I had everything straight in my head. My favorite character was Mrs. O'Leary. She is a complex individual who cannot be labeled as good or bad. The Irish folklore she introduces is fascinating, but full of riddles and hidden meanings. Mrs. O'Leary, known as Lia (short for Cordelia) by the townfolk, has episodes of warmth and lucidity mixed with outright lunacy.
Bubby says: I had a hard time getting into the story of Learning to Swim. It came off as the typical YA summer romance novel. There was some teenage drinking among the rich and fabulous set, some Romeo and Juliet-type issues with the rich girl and the "townie" boy and all the accompanying angst that one would expect. However. The story started dragging me in. Before I knew it, I actually cared about these people and their lives. The thing that pulled me in most was Mrs. O'Leary and her stories. I figured out who (or should I say what) she was pretty early on and it just got better from there. Read full review at [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Swim is a must-read!! February 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I couldn't put down this book . . . and my curiosity about the selkies has left me breathlessly awaiting book two! I am a teacher of seventh-grade language arts students and I want them to read this book! In fact, I have students anxiously waiting for my copies to arrive so they can delve right in! Cheers to Annie Cosby!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great writing, dialogue spot on, but slow start March 22, 2014
By Majanka
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Learning to Swim is the first book in a new series, and it’s off to a good start.

When Cora’s mother forces her to go on summer holiday, Cora thinks her summer is doomed. Her parents belong in a world of parties, wealth, and the elite. While Cora spends half the time in that world, she also takes some time to visit the world of the locals on her holiday, and to discover more abot mythology and folklore than she ever thought possible, thanks to the batty Mrs. O’Leary. But Mrs. O’Leary isn’t the only local Cora meets. There’s also Ronan, a gorgeous and mysterious boy. But Cora’s world is miles away from Ronan’s, and even the magic of summer may not succeed in bringing them together.

Cora was an okay character. She had a mind of her own, but she was also thoughtful and considerate, at least in as far as a teenager can be any of those things. Ronan was fun too, everything one would look for in a summer fling. But the character that really intrigued me was Mrs. O’Leary. Her story were amazing. I loved the folklore, the mystery, the ancient mythology, all mixed together. And of course, Mrs. O’Leary’s personality was entertaining as well.

The writing was great. Dialogue and descriptions were spot on. While the story had a slow start, the pacing picked up after a few chapters, and I was impressed by how endaring the story was, and how much I began to like the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story to read by the fireside. April 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
While Learning to Swim is not my usual genre of books I found that it was a great distraction to my usual fare. Ms. Cosby’s characters are engaging, interesting, and well developed. The story line was intriguing and kept me reading, wondering how things would resolve themselves. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever read anything about the Celtic folk lore of Selkies. This in and of itself is extremely interesting and I hope that the author doesn’t abandon that story line, I find myself curious to know more about them. All in all this is a great first novel. I look forward to the next installment and watching this author grow.
*I was gifted a copy of this novel by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Michele ~ Dauntless Indies
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read!!!!! April 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not my typical genre, but I absolutely loved this book. It's not just another formulaic romance novel. The characters have tremendous depth and mystery, and the story will keep you wanting more! Looking forward to the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! April 9, 2014
By Rebecca
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have to say I really enjoyed this book. It perfectly mixes mythology and folklore with modern day teenage problems. The author really gets into the mind of 18 year old Cora and the reader feels the range of emotions that she feels throughout the book, be that frustration, excitement, sadness, embarrassment or disgust.

Best part of the book had to be the mysterious character, Mrs O'Leary, and the stories surrounding her past.

Looking forward to the sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first in a series April 8, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
**Originally written for Book Bliss book blog. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased and honest review**

Review: 4 stars
General: This book was wonderfully engaging from the first page to the last. It is filled with not only a strong backstory in mystery and plenty of heartache and attention grabbing plot elements that sucked me in from the start. I love that it was about Selkie's as it's not as done now and allowed for many original concepts. My only real compliant was the characters felt very stock. I still loved the book and will get into why but felt in this instance the I would have loved characters that I haven't seen in many other YA book or movie.

This was a beautiful coming of age story at it's roots and it was wonderfully done. I connected quickly with Cora and found myself curious about the Selkies almost more than she was at some points. I love being that drawn in. The story was well written and the plot itself was perfectly paced. The descriptions were light and easy and took you right into the story from the first page to the last.

Characters: Cora- Cora was the traditional YA heroine and for that I would have liked a little something extra from her. She's still believable of course and easy to connect with I just like a unique heroine. She's independent (almost wreckless but it works), caring and very teen in her reactions to things such as the summer announcement and many interactions with Mrs. O'Leary.

Ronan- Ronan is a mystery more than anything else at this point. Which I respect because it drew me in more but it's also often done in the YA world so for that point it seemed overdone. His relationship with Cora was sweet to watch form. He was caring and you could really sense his feelings for her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a great and unique story
This was a great and unique story!! Think this could also be a great read for a teen or preteen!
Published 3 months ago by Andie B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 1st book to Hearts Out of Water Series
Annie Cosby's 1st book in her Hearts Out of Water series, Narrated by Wendy Pitts is published by Write For You a Publishing and in Audiobook form by the Author Ann Cosby. Read more
Published 4 months ago by PerryMartinBookReviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for lovers of folklore and YA!
I could not put this book done! I am a fan of YA books and folklore so this was a perfect combination. I suggest this to anyone who enjoys YA novels and/or folklore.
Published 4 months ago by Addie
5.0 out of 5 stars It Happened One Summer...
1st, as always let me say, I read / listened to this book in audio format via I love audio books & get them whenever I can. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Terri B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and magical book
Learning to Swim is a sweet, magical and engaging book. I loved every single page of it; I immediately fell in love with LtS, its writing and its characters. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rosario
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning to Swim is a Great Debut Novel and 1st Installment to the...
Sweet and well-written first novel that introduces the reader to a bit Celtic myth while telling a tale of first love between two unlikely young adults. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JD Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Romance Wrapped Around Layers of Irish Folklore
Wow. I just finished reading Learning to Swim, and I could not put it down. The romantic aspects of the story are fabulous and are perfectly interspersed with tidbits of Irish... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Megan O'Brien
4.0 out of 5 stars thoughts on learning to swim
Love this book. so so sweet. Love Rory. I know that Owen was trying to be a nice guy but you seriously became a total douche. Rory though was perfect. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hello-booklover
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More About the Author

Annie Cosby is the YA author of the USA Today-recommended HEARTS OUT OF WATER series.

When she's not writing, Annie's usually editing for awesome clients like Anna Katmore (formerly Piper Shelly) and Month9Books/Swoon Romance!

She splits her days between her hometown, St. Louis, and her adopted love, Galway, Ireland.

Check out her books for some whimsy and then go say hi on Facebook or Twitter!

The HEARTS OUT OF WATER series is all about a modern girl who finds herself tangled up in Celtic mythology.
#1 Learning to Swim (Out now!)
#2 Learning to Live (Nov. 30)
#3 Learning to Love (2015)

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