Nantucket Blue is a unique combination of heartfelt realistic fiction and cutesy romance, and overall I think Leila Howland pulled it off really well. I think Cass (who pushed me into reading this—yay, Cassie!) put it best when she told me this was a book where characters make mistakes. And it’s not in a bad “OMG I screwed up my life and her life and his life and their lives” kind of deal. This is really a book about people doing things people do, and how our actions have consequences, how people will interpret those actions and consequences. And there were lighthearted moments in here too—I definitely caught myself grinning like a fool during some scenes.
At the start of the book, protagonist Cricket has everything going for her. Jay, the boy she’s has a crush on since 8th grade, is finally noticing her, and her best friend Jules invited Cricket to spend the summer on Nantucket with the family. Then Jules’ mom dies, and Cricket is disinvited. But Cricket makes her way to Nantucket all the same, working as a maid in a hotel, only to find out Jules doesn’t like her anymore, and Jay thinks she’s a bitch. The summer looks like a disaster, but Cricket finds new friends—and new romance—and things start going her way again. Before everything turns into yet another disaster (but that would be spoilers, so my lips are sealed).
Cricket Thompson may not be my favorite female lead ever, but she’s still cool. She has an awesome “take charge of your life” attitude that serves her well over the course of the book, and I liked the way she handled her situation with Jules, with her parents, and with the other people she met over the summer.
The story, as I said, sometimes leaned a bit towards the cheesy side of the romance spectrum, especially toward the end of the book. You know those stories where everything that could possibly go wrong does? That’s Nantucket Blue. Cricket gets caught having sex with one guy, then gets caught kissing another guy, and everyone’s mad and it’s a big mess. Personally, I could have done without all the obvious drama and silliness. That’s just me, however.
Overall, I think Nantucket Blue is a solid book for summer. The beachy setting was a great backdrop against Cricket’s story, and I liked the characters and plotline enough to be engaged the entire time.