Publisher: Disney Hyperion.
Release date: May 7th 2013.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Source: Received from publisher for 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.
Oh, Nantucket Blue, I just wanted more and more of you. Leila Howland’s debut is as sun-dappled dreamy as its setting, and with a relatable protagonist, pitch-perfect voice, cracking dialogue and a swoony romance (you know how I love those!), this, for me, is one great summer read. In tone Nantucket Blue reminded me of Jenny Han’s Summer series; there is a sweet nostalgia to these books that makes me reminisce over my own teenage summers – angst-filled though they often were. Nantucket Blue also made me hungry for a sandwich from ‘Something Natural’ on Nantucket Island; I’ll have Sprouts, Veggies and Hummus on Whole Wheat, and a cookie too please. I love it when authors go the extra mile with their foodie descriptions; and this book gave me a snack-attack too many times to mention.
But, let’s get back to the story.
Nantucket Blue is all about character development and growth and coming-of-age. Ah, I can’t get enough of these coming of age stories. There’s also a story-within-a-story here involving Cricket’s mom which provides some great comic relief at times. I swear, Cricket’s mom’s diary had me laughing out loud (and totally cringing for Cricket too). After all, who wants to hear about their mom getting it on. Repeatedly. With Lover Boy. In the sand dunes. I feel for you Cricket, I do. And I liked Cricket right from the start; she reads very real, which I love, and though she’s a little meek at times, she is a girl with a good heart and all of the best intentions, so when her best friend Jules morphs into a mean girl, actually, scratch that, bitch-from-hell is a better term to describe Jules, Cricket understands. Personally, I wouldn’t understand, but then I’m not Cricket. And while I’m not going to delve too deep into the character of Jules in this review, let me just say that, yes, teenage girls (and anybody really) can and often do act like Jules acts when grief and never getting to say goodbye, is involved. Let’s just say that Cricket’s (although very well-intentioned) behaviour hit a nerve with Jules; and it hit that nerve with a hammer.
Not that I’m excusing Jules. I really did not like that girl.
After a false start in Nantucket where she’s fired from a job before she even starts, Cricket lands a job at the Cranberry Inn, where she works alongside Gavin, a bohemian kind of guy who makes great baked goods, and Liz, a sassy, quick-witted Brit who’s interested in having a good time. This book has a number of great secondary characters, and in particular I loved Liz, who was at times like a big sister to Cricket, albeit a big sister who buys Cricket a thong and tells her she needs to get laid. Liz also gives Cricket a lot of great advice, which ties into Cricket’s character growth during her summer on Nantucket, and her romance too. Cricket’s summer romance is unexpected and also a little bit forbidden. There’s also real chemistry between Cricket and her mystery man. Serious sizzle and kisses in the surf and champagne boat rides. I loved. Oh, and Jay, the boy of her dreams; is he Cricket’s mystery man? Hmmm…that would be telling. You’ll have to read on and find out.
Of my summer reads this year, Nantucket Blue is my favourite so far. I’ve been recommending this one to everyone I know, and if you read it, I hope you love it too. I had such fun with Cricket on her adventures and I can’t wait to catch up again when Nantucket Red, the sequel to Nantucket Blue, releases summer 2014.