Book Title/Author: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Publisher/Year: Disney Hyperion May 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Other Books From Author:
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way swayed my opinion. Pinky swear!
Cricket and Jules have planned the perfect summer — Cricket will stay in Nantucket for the summer with Jules and her family, who is the perfect family Cricket wishes she could have, and Cricket will finally get Jay to fall in love with her since he also vacations there. Cricket’s plans fall to pieces when a tragedy happens to Jules’ family and suddenly Jules is being cold and distant to Cricket and telling her that her dad won’t let her come anymore. Cricket is determined to still have her amazing summer on Nantucket and be there for Jules so she finds herself a job. Her perfect summer isn’t exactly what she thought it would be with Jules and a new forbidden crush emerges that could really complicate things more.
I really enjoyed this one and thought it was a fun beach/summer read though not entirely light and fluffy. It was a quick read that explored a few relationships — romance, a fractured friendship and a strained mother-daughter relationship — in a really great setting that will have you thirsting for your own summer romance in Nantucket. I really LIKED it and on paper it looks like it should have been an absolutely PERFECT read because I can’t really pinpoint what I DIDN’T like about it but, for some reason, I never got to that OMG I LOVE IT SO MUCH point like sooo many of my friends.
The biggest thread of the story really revolves around Cricket and her best friend Jules. They have had that ultimate close friendship that every girl wants until this tragedy happens in Jules’ life and suddenly Cricket is being shown the cold shoulder. I thought this break in the friendship was done really well and felt realistic of that weird kind of tension that happens between friends — the analyzing & asking yourself WHY they are made at you, that longing you have to tell your best friend something, etc. I actually identified a lot with Jules after this tragedy and, even though she was being a royal BEYOTCH to Cricket, I just always felt for her because I did a lot of pushing people away after my mom passed away. However, I had a hard time when I found out her reasoning for it. I liked that their storyline wasn’t so cleanly wrapped up but I will admit to wanting more.
I really enjoyed the romance aspect of this story. It felt like it fell into place just perfectly and was so romantic and sweet and very worth of the swoon. I loved how it developed and the complications that went along with it but it was this really bright spot in the story when it was hard to deal with how Jules was being and the dynamics between Cricket and her parents.
I thought Cricket was easy to relate to and I thought she was incredibly realistic. She wasn’t a perfect character, you wanted to smack her upside the head sometimes but ultimately you could feel for her. She wanted to be there for Jules even when Jules wasn’t having it and she had a big heart even if sometimes she didn’t look out for herself. I really liked Cricket’s interactions with the secondary characters that she meets on Nantucket and I thought they were really special and added a lot to Cricket’s summertime adventure. I loved the character development of Cricket and that she realized she couldn’t stay stuck in the past. She deals with a lot in this summer and I think, though there are ups and downs, she handles it gracefully.
I thought Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland was a really great summer read that had a little bit of everything in it. I loved that it wasn’t just a romance but a story about friendship and parental dynamics and how Cricket handles these things and really starts finding out who she is. Truly, I can’t really think of anything that bothered me or that I didn’t like about it, however, I only really felt like “oh I really LIKED it” rather than OMG I LOVED IT. Somewhere it just didn’t click for me as it did for all my friends.
Let’s Talk: Have you read of it? Heard of it? If you’ve read it what did you think? Did you HATE Jules like I know so many others did or did you understand her to some degree (even though you still want to punch her sometimes)?