Title: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Release Date: May 7th 2013
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
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.
Cricket Thompson was supposed to spend the summer with her best friend Jules in Nantucket, but everything changed when Jules' mom died. Now Cricket finds herself alone, not knowing how to spend her summer and clueless as to why her bestfriend was staying away from her. With her hardwork she was able to get to Nantucket, but Cricket encountered unexpected things that might make her summer unforgettable after all.
I have to admit, it took a while for Cricket to warm up to me. She was this girl who absolutely had no idea how her actions affect the people around her, who does things without having to carefully think of the consequences it might bring. Sure she was nice, but there's something about her clueless personality that just irked me at first. Her family dynamics weren't good but as you read more about her, you'll see why Cricket is the way she was. I wanted to pity her at first, but Cricket has a way of staying positive and persevering to make things right that makes me like her. It was amusing to see her as a confused and uncertain teenager going through a lot of firsts. She might not be perfect but she's a flawed character that has enough goodness in her. My heart ached for her a couple of times with an estranged friend, a mother who's life seem to have stopped after her divorce, and an absent father. Cricket needed a lot of love and she deserves it.
I was a bit apprehensive at first with Cricket and Zack's relationship. Maybe because it clashes with my own preference and I've read enough YA books where immaturity that comes with a young age causes a lot of conflict in relationships that I doubted it. Zack's younger but there were times where he transforms into this mature person that Cricket can depend on when life gets tough, and that's what I liked about him. Although I didn't like how they want to keep their relationship a secret, it was understandable. He's this guy who tries so hard to be strong on the outside but sometimes, when he needs to grieve for his mom, that vulnerable side of him gives Zack a little bit of depth. Because like Jules he was hurting, and he also did things to make himself forget, but unlike his sister, he didn't self-destruct.
What made this book lose a little bit of its appeal for me was Jules. I understand that grief changes people, it almost always does, but isn't it also the time where you reach out to your friends the most? I couldn't understand why she pushed Cricket away all of a sudden. Jealousy, maybe? Envy? How can you throw years worth of friendship away just like that and treat your own best friend like she's nothing? I didn't like Jules even a bit with her snarky, sarcastic, destructive behavior. She felt fake for me, like she had been deceiving Cricket all this time with her bright, happy personality when all the while those dark emotions for her friend were simmering beneath the surface. I pity her. Her life was spiraling out of control after her mother's death, and it transformed her into an entirely different person. I think Cricket deserves more from her.
Nantucket Blue is quite an enjoyable read. It starts out as this seemingly simple story of a girl who wants to escape to this wonderful summer place just for a little bit to forget the things in her life that aren't perfect. And then when these plans fell apart, with her determination to create a memorable summer, she found new friends, took the time to understand the reality of her family life, learned to let go of some people and discovered what it's like to love, to give yourself to someone, to be in a relationship and experience the complicated things that goes along with it, and revisit the past with the help of one quirky writer in order to understand that the future might not be as bad as it looks like. It's an unforgettable summer of firsts for Cricket.
It's the perfect summer read if you want to just soak in the sun with a YA contemporary book that makes you appreciate the summer more. With plenty of feel good romance, conflicts, angst, a healthy dose of drama all happening in a great setting like Nantucket, Leila's Howland's debut is the kind of read you want to have if you just want to sit back, relax and get into the summer mood.
Content (plot, story flow, character):
A few quirks that made this book lose a little bit of appeal: Jules and the way she treats Cricket, the way the conflict between Zack and Cricket was resolved. It felt lacking for me. Was Zack really that easy to forgive, even if it's just a misunderstanding? How was Cricket so confused in that single moment with Jay when I thought she was head over heels for Zack? I felt like Jules didn't do enough for Cricket after all she did to her. They were once friends, doesn't Cricket deserve more than just "we're not friends anymore and we won't be again.".
Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!
Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!
I love it!
I love it!