I did not read the first book in the series, but that didn't seem to matter. The author does a nice enough job of highlighting the main points from the earlier plot without retelling every single detail. As I've said, I had fun reading Real Mermaids Don't Hold Their Breath, but it didn't "wow" me. I'm not sure why I didn't find myself caught up in the story. It was a fast read that I enjoyed, but it didn't really leave a lasting impression. I'm sure a tweenage reader would appreciate it more than me.
I really don't have a lot to say because it didn't wow me. The story line was tightly woven and consistent, which is always a must for a good story. That much I did appreciate. The characters were "cute" and came across as wholesome. I think that was the biggest issue I had with the story. The characters were too perfect and everything seemed to wrap itself up with a nice little bow in the end. I need more conflict in my books! But, like I said, it's probably just right for younger readers.