Breath and Count Back From Ten - Natalia Sylvester

 Verónica has needed many surgeries to deal with her disability. After these surgeries, the best way to recover is to swim often, and this is what she does. But that is not the only reason why Verónica is so crazy about swimming. She lives near a place called Mermaid Cove. No, no mermaids are living in the waters near her house! Mermaid Cove is an entertainment centre where they have been giving mermaid shows for decades. Now happens to be her chance to get a spot in the team at Mermaid Cove, and actually become a mermaid as a summer job. There is one problem though, her parents would never allow her to be a part of this.

Before I began I want to say I got the opportunity to read this book as an ARC because of Netgalley! I am really thankful to get to read this book before it actually got released. 

Now on to the actual review, I rated this book 4 stars. And let me tell you it deserved all four of these stars! I was so excited to get started on this book. I mean, who does not like reading about mermaids! Doesn't everyone want to be a mermaid for a day?

Let me get started on the characters. Verónica is Peruvian and moved to Florida when she was little. She moved there with her mother, father and younger sister. Verónica has hip dysplasia and has had many surgeries to keep her walking and to avoid her getting in too much pain. I love how she and the other characters are written. They feel so real to me and the things they had to go through in the past still play an important part in the present. They are characters with depth and history, that decided, at least for a small part, who they are. 

Verónica's parents were really annoying me, but they should for the story's sake. So it was not a bad thing. I could completely understand all her actions just to avoid the confrontation with her parents she otherwise would have to go through.

Alex was a sweetheart and I love how he made the story, not just about Verónica and what she is going through, but he showed that others have struggles too. I did feel like the romance between these two was moving a bit fast. It felt like the author thought: 'Well it is going to happen either way, so why not let it happen immediately?'. Maybe if there had been more of a build-up I would have felt more invested in the romance.

At first, I felt like the mermaid job was a bit disappointing and I was not sure how the author was going to fill an entire story with it. But wow, she actually did a really good job. Some parts of the story were a bit predictable but I did not really mind it that much. It is the reason why I decided to not give the book 5 stars.  

Expected publication date: May 10th, 2022