Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: Nantucket Blue

Nantucket Blue
By Leila Howland
Published: May 7, 2013

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.

My review:

This book reminded me of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and also made me draw comparisons to the books of Jessi Kirby, Morgan Matson and Sarah Dessen. The cover makes it look like a lighthearted summer romance kind of story but it is much more than that. Nantucket Blue examines family, friendship, grief, and love without becoming overly dramatic or depressing.

Cricket's home life is kind of messed up. Her mom has been sunk in depression since her dad left and he has now remarried and adopted a little boy with special needs. Cricket spends as much time as possible with her best friend Jules and Jules's family, especially her mom Nina who is the opposite of her own mom. Cricket's presence is welcomed by the Claytons and she is treated almost like family. Jules is like the sister she always wanted. 

Sadly this all changes in the blink of an eye. Suddenly Jules treats Cricket like a stranger and Cricket has lost her footing. She'd planned on spending the summer with the Claytons at Nantucket, a place she has been longing to go for years. Cricket makes an impulsive decision to go to Nantucket on her own so she can be there for Jules during a difficult time but Jules wants nothing to do with her. Instead, Cricket spends her time working at an inn and making friends in unexpected places.

Cricket could have been whiny and given up on her friendship and summer plans but I admired her determination to be there for her best friend. Even when her original job on Nantucket fell through, she persevered. While she occasionally made decisions that caused me to cringe, I mostly thought Cricket displayed maturity in handling painful situations. Like the Claytons, Cricket is also mourning and trying to figure out what she did wrong to cause her friendship with Jules to end. I did think that Jules came across as a bitch even though she was dealing with a major loss. I felt sorry for Cricket so whenever good things did happen for her, I was thrilled. 

The setting was really enjoyable for me. I've never been to Nantucket and so I liked having that window into a world so different from my own. I think some of it did seem a little snobby but I was glad to see Cricket making friends at the inn. The romance didn't wow me or anything but I thought it was a nice first love story with all the awkwardness. I am glad that this book was about more than a romance though. It was nice to see Cricket grow up a little and even encourage her mom to move on.

Overall I thought this was a good story. I like that it wasn't just a lighthearted romance (though I do enjoy those) but it had some depth and character growth. It isn't easy for Cricket to develop her own life apart from her friendship with Jules and I liked the parallel story with her mom as a teen and the little mystery surrounding that. I think readers who are looking for a good beach read should give this book a try especially if they are fans of Sarah Dessen, Sarah Ockler, Morgan Matson, or Jessi Kirby.

Note: I received an e-ARC of this book for review purposes courtesy of NetGalley


  1. This looks really good. I love it when books turn out to be a little deeper than you first thought they would be.
    Great review

  2. Great review! I'm glad you liked this one. I thought it was really cute and perfect for the beach. I also liked that it was more than a beach read, too. The setting was incredible. I really want to go to Nantucket now. :)

  3. I liked this book a lot; I just didn't love it, you know? I don't know if it's my mood or the writing or what but I just don't have the excited feels for this book although I wanted to feel that! I'm glad it worked for you and think your comparisons to other books are very apt.

  4. I've seen a couple of reviews for this and it sounds really good. I like contemp books that have a bit of weight to them.

    Cait x

  5. Your books look wonderful. I really like the Sarah Dessen title. Haven't read any of her books. I feel badly and need to read one soon. So far I've liked any book written Mary Alice Monroe. Didn't know about this title. Have a good reading week.

  6. Glad that this book not as lighthearted as the cover makes it look - it's always nice to read a story that delves deeper into other issues. As a Dessen, Ockler, and a Kirby fan, this book sounds like my type of story! I hope my library gets this one in.

    Great review!


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