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.
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.
**I received an Advanced Reading Copy of this book from Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review.**
A bittersweet( and maybe a bit scandalous) contemporary about a girl's summer in Nantucket which doesn't turn out exactly the way she wanted it to,Nantucket Blue might be a good read to pack with you while going on vacation.
What I liked the most about this book is that the love triangle wasn't all that deep.Deep love triangles just frustrate me a lot.Sure,this might sound like your typical boy likes girl,girl likes boy back but boy is completely off-limits sort of story,but it doesn't stop there.Nantucket Blue also shows that even when you mess up pretty badly and hope for your life to be over,you eventually get over it and move on.
It took me a while to actually accept the story from Cricket's P.O.V,as at first she just seemed like someone who only cared about herself and her perfect summer in Nantucket.But after I read through the entire book,only then did I realise that she may have had her flaws,but at least she had the courage to admit them.In this case though,I found Zack to be a lot more admirable character than Cricket herself.Though it was a bit hard trying to ship them together at the beginning.Her best friend Jules,on the other hand,was a tough character to deal with.One of my favourite characters throughout the story was George.I feel that he played an important role in keeping Cricket's mind off things,at the same time giving her a good experience to take with her to college.
Even though the story did waver a bit in the middle,it had a promising conclusion.Fans of Meg Cabot,Judy Blume and Jenny Han would probably enjoy this debut more than others.I'm saying this by analysis since a friend of mine who is a huge contemporary fan borrowed this book from me earlier in May and seemed to like it a lot more.
I really connected with Cricket. Her uncertainty, her self esteem issues, the way she loves fiercely and how she wants to do the right thing. She was a great main character, and I loved journeying in her head, and watching her discover herself and grow through this summer away from home. I also loved a remark she made about comebacks, that they never came at the right time, but later when she couldn't use them. But Jules always had the right thing to say, and that made their friendship balance. Not only do I relate to the not knowing what to say, I have been there. She also made a remark about seeing popularity and how it plays out, and that it doesn't go away after high school. That seemed almost insurmountable, but unfortunately it is true. I am 28 and I still feel left out and see the back biting and fakeness of some of the relationships around me, and its sad.
Nantucket Blue begins the emotional very soon in. I thought that it would be later in the book, but it snuck right in there. I knew that the blurb mentioned a tragedy, but I guess that I was expecting more fluffy than the emotional distress that everyone was in. But it was all amazingly written and I could relate with what everyone was going through, and it felt like it was coming off the page in waves.
The writing is almost poetic at times, and the whole story is beautifully written. I think it expressed well feelings that I have had at times, and was unable to really express. But one thing that Cricket though really stuck with me.
"And I knew that it had only been a week of being alone in the world, but a week is a long time to feel like that."
There is a fabulous cast of characters, and each brings something to the story. There is George, the journalist, who takes Cricket as an intern on the side, and she learns so much about people, and what she wants through him. Liz is a co-worker and what she deemed herself as the top adviser of matters of the heart for Cricket. How they worked together and had real conversations about things was neat. Another element is how she got to know her mom through a diary that she found. Cricket's mom had been pretty down and depressed after the divorce and these pages from her past helped Cricket to see her as a full person and gave her clues to help her mom rediscover her life.
The relationship with Cricket and her parents was strained but realistic. I can see how a divorce would put that stress on the family. I liked how Cricket was close to her mom, but there was still this gap because of their pain. And there are moments--the great dad challenge that I am thinking of, that shows how close they used to be and it is clear that Cricket is hurting. I hate that in this book we didn't really see a full resolution, but there was hinting at reconciliation, so I will just make it a perfect world in the open end that the story leaves with this thread and let them figure it all out.
Cricket and her best friend Jules have a rich past, and you can see how close they were before the tragedy, but their friendship was anything but simple and beautiful after. I didn't quite get the divide with their relationship but the reasons made sense when they began to slowly repair their friendship later in the book. I knew that Jules was grieving and there is a quote that I think sums everything perfectly, but it was still hard to watch Cricket be in so much pain from mean things Jules said, and being pushed away.
"It's like there is a wall around her right now. And no one is allowed in. No one."
"Parker can't even see the wall. That is the whole point."
There is a forbidden love, and I enjoyed every minute. It is unexpected and I loved the slow build. The banter, the friendship, the stolen kisses, and more. There is some swoon worthy moments and I just had to share one.
Then the feeling changed again, into something brighter, something alive and jumping, like a sparkler in my chest, when I slid into the front seat next to him and our thighs touched.
Yeah, it is that kind of love story. And it rocked. But that didn't mean it was perfect. Their relationship was being hidden from someone who could feel very betrayed because of it, and some decisions that ultimately led to clarity from Cricket also hurt the lover.
But the ending was bittersweet, and everything wrapped up to my satisfaction. So, through the pain and rising above it, still choosing to live and learn and love.
Bottom Line: Powerful and emotional but fun summer read about loss, love, and the hope of healing.