Title: Nantucket Blue
Author: Leila Howland
Published: May 7th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.
Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.
When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.
But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.
A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue."
First line: "Even without Holly Howard and Dori Archer, who'd been suspended for drinking on campus, we were supposed to win that game."
Thoughts: There is nothing I love more than a book based in a small summer vacation town. Let's face it, if we personally can't be there, at least we can read about it. NANTUCKET BLUE mixes everything I adore about summer and even sprinkles in a dash of soul and emotions as well. Ready for some fun in the sun? Good!
When I originally picked up NANTUCKET BLUE, I thought it was going to be a light beach read. What I wasn't expecting to find was the range of emotions I experience throughout the novel. It seems like things are finally falling into place for Cricket. The guy she's been crushing on for ages appears to be noticing her and if that wasn't enough, her best friend invites her to spend the summer in Nantucket with her and her family. So much win, so little time! Alas, as if the this-is-too-good-to-be-true gods were listening, everything comes crashing down. Jules (Cricket's best friend) suffers a tragedy so devastating that even Cricket can't help her. What's a girl to do when her perfect summer no longer exists and the best friend she thought she knew turns out to be someone completely different?
One of the things I love about this book is the setting. Goodness, all I could think about for days were cute little shops, hotels, and beaches. I've personally never been to Nantucket but after reading this novel, I'm desperate to go. The author could not have picked a better location for her story.
As far as the characters go, I have to admit that I constantly went from loving Cricket to hating her. She just does things that irritate me to no end but then redeems herself at the very last minute. The thing is, out of all the characters in this book, she does show the most growth. When she cried, I wanted to cry. She went into the summer a naive little girl who, regardless of who she hurt, wanted certain things and was determined to make them happen. By the end of the book, she transformed into a young adult who learned from consequences and realizes that the things you think you want might not be what you need. For that, I adored her.
Another character that sent me on a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions was Jules. Though I understood where she was coming from, I couldn't help but feel hurt by the way she treated certain people around her. Her relationship with Cricket was far more complex than I expected and made this book the unforgettable read it is. Out of all the relationships in this book (and there are quite a few), her's and Cricket's was the one I rooted for the most.
Ironically enough, the boys in this book were my favorite characters. They were all so lovable, laid back, and drama free. That doesn't mean things didn't blow up in their face or they're not somehow involved in some backstabbing, but they definitely acted more mature than the girls did. Imagine that.
Lastly, the romance. Honestly, I really liked it but didn't love it. The secret lovers and whatnot bothered me a little. There were moments where I swooned and craved for more. At the same time, I still felt this layer of deceit. There's also something that happens that made me cringe, angered me and was so frustrating, I wanted to throw my book against the wall. I can't say what it is without spoiling the whole novel but once you get there, you'll understand.
Overall, if you're looking for a summer read with a whole lot of depth and drama, this is the book for you. There's never a boring moment and never a time where it doesn't keep you at least a little bit intrigued. It's a great summer read that's best paired with a glass of wine and a beach to lay on. The only question is, are you ready for this jelly?
“Without a best friend to tell stories to, it almost didn't matter if they even happened.”
“Jules hated it when I used 'delicious' to describe anything but food, but that day he was nothing if not a sugar cone of melting sea salt and caramel gelato.”
“Feelings find each other, I thought. Let one in and the others follow. At that moment it seemed that all our feelings were shimmering above us, around us, in a new and stunning constellation.”