The leap into fantasy confused me at first, but made a lot of sense the more I thought about it. It plays off the fear that most 7th grade girls have-- my friends will all suddenly decide to NOT be my friends any more. It is nice that Hattie gets to know Zooey better, and the delving into town history has its moments.
Hattie's parents, as well as the other adults in the book, are wonderful and supportive, and make brief appearances taking the girls to activities and consulting about problems. This is a nice touch, instead of killing off all the parents!
Readers who enjoy magical realism, as well as middle school drama, will want to add Best Friends For Never to their bookshelves alongside Margolis' If I Were You, Hubbard's You Wish, and Standiford's Switched at Birthday, as well as Mass' Willow Falls series.