I haven’t read the other four books in this blended series, but based on this book, I’m not going to waste my time. It’s not that it is horrible, it just doesn’t have much substance to it. I want to like Willa. She loves books and candy and she apparently saved the town library in one of the other books, but her lack of a backbone when it comes to telling her mom about Will’s existence frustrated me, and the need to call her ex-pastor to get advice on how to tell Will the truth about their father was downright laughable. Furthermore, the books that Willa reads, her “skinny-punch” books, are not books that most 14-year olds are reading for pleasure, and they are certainly not books that I would characterize as quick reads. I also found the whole “I’m missing my boyfriend who is in Florida for a baseball internship and I’m wondering why he won’t call or text me” storyline tired and way too drawn out. The cover photo has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Willa doesn’t link arms with Ruby and Tina while watching the fireworks; she leaves the bonfire party and watches the fireworks alone on the widow’s walk of the Inn. The mermaid sighting is apparently supposed to be a sustained metaphor throughout the book for believing in things you can’t see, but it just comes across as random.
Not exactly recommended for grades 7-9.