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.
Best Bits: I don't always find myself drawn to contemporary reads, but something about this one was calling to me. I'm glad that I got the chance to read it, because it satisfied my urge for an emotional summer read. I thought that the characters and situations felt real, especially as the book went on and Cricket and Jules grow and change (seriously, if you compare their first conversation in the book to their final conversation it speaks volumes of who they are as people). I also thought that Howland did an excellent job dealing with the tragedy. I really understood the change in Jules, and felt for Cricket who couldn't help her. The romance was sweet, and didn't feel like insta-love. Seriously, I almost danced with joy about that one. It was obvious to me who male romantic lead would be, but it was still nice getting to see it happen.
The one thing that I want to rave about is the ending. No fear, there are no spoilers here. Howland doesn't tie up all of the loose ends in Cricket's life. Things are still messy at the end, and I loved that about this book. When I set down my Kindle (at 4 am after being unable to put it down) I reflected back on the book and it was nice to think about the possibilities for the future of these characters. Nantucket Blue was an emotionally satisfying read, and a must-have for summer.
Nit Picks: I actually struggled with where to rate this one, and almost took the cheater's way out by giving it two grades. I don't have any large nitpicks to address, which is always a rarity. I do wish I could have seen a bit more of some supporting characters, as we're introduced to a few who make one or two brief appearances. The conflict at the end could have been avoided, but Howland did a great job of explaining it to the reader, and as a teen I probably would have done/felt the same way.
"The sky was bright blue with three marshmallow clouds" -1% on Kindle
"It's better to have the morning to yourself than the evening. You don't have to feel lonely when you're alone in the morning." -44% on Kindle
Expected Publication: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel.