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Review: From Willa, With Love by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

Thursday, June 30, 2011

3 Stars: A Good Read
Series: Wedding Planner's Daughter #5
Hardcover: 208 Pages
Publication: July 1, 2011 by Scholastic Press

It's a surprising, sparkling summer for Willa!

It's August on Cape Cod and Willa has a lot to look forward to. Soon, JFK will return home from baseball camp, and Willa has an idea for an exciting new project that will challenge her to dream big! But life throws Willa some unexpected twists and turns: Ruby has bad news, a beloved friend leaves, a dear friend returns, her brother Will has something he does't want to talk about, and of course, there's a wedding to plan! There's also a cute boy who likes Willa . . . a lot, and Willa thinks she might like him too. It's a summer full of romance and surprises!

From Willa, With Love is the fifth installment in Paratore’s Wedding Planner’s Daughter series. While Willa expects her summer to be boring without JFK (as she likes to call her boyfriend), it’s actually pretty eventful. Her half-brother Will looks for their father, there are weddings and there is sad news. There is also a cute boy who seems to be expressing interest in her.

I hadn’t realized that this was the fifth installment in a series when I picked this up, but while I was expected to know some characters, I found it fairly easy to follow the storyline. I love Willa’s character. She’s a sweet girl with a passion for planning weddings and serving her community. I adore her love for books; it’s a great characteristic that tweens can love from her. Her ideas of raising money for humane causes and of giving her books away are brilliant and inspiring!

Honestly, I feel like there could have been more character development in this book. While Willa is dynamic and relatable, the other characters felt flat to me. I believe that it’s because so many side plots were being developed that Paratore didn’t have enough time to spend on each one considering how short the novel is. Still, I realize that the characters have been developed over the course of the series, which I have yet to read. I know that tweens will adore Willa, fall in love with Will’s charming personality, and become as torn with Willa between JFK and Jess. And if they haven’t read the series before—like me—they’ll find themselves running to the bookstores to buy a set.

While this book does introduce a love triangle, I like Willa’s decision in the end. So as not to give away anything, I’m going to say that there hasn’t been enough development of romance in the book for a ‘real’ conclusion to be made. Tweens who have enjoyed reading this series will be looking forward to another installment in this series.


An ARC was provided by the publisher for review.
2 comments on "Review: From Willa, With Love by Coleen Murtagh Paratore"
  1. I'm happy this book ends well-I can mark it as a to-reads now...wasn't sure before :)

  2. i am reading the book and i like it so far but its getting boring


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