Title: Nantucket Blue
Author: Leila Howland
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: 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.
This book was so much yes. Cricket? Yes. Jules? Well…no, but changing friendships? Yes. Island summer? Oh yeah. And the romance? Hella yes.
Let’s start with Cricket: compulsively likeable, independent, and real. What more could you ask for in a protagonist?
Then we have the friendship thing. I was kind of suspicious of Jules to begin with, but of course I was still sad for Cricket when Jules turned on her. I like a good YA that deals with changing friendships, because that is a major issue in teen’s lives and for people in general. The only thing I wasn’t totally sold on was that Jules completely turned against Cricket so immediately after her mother’s death. I feel like there should have been a few more hints that it was going to happen before Nina’s death to make it slightly more believable. That said, I was convinced by Jules’ own explanation for why she was so angry with Cricket when it finally did come out.
I love a great beach-town book, and Nantucket Blue definitely fits the bill in that regard. Leila Howland’s debut made me want to pack up and find a job on Nantucket, too. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of Nantucket high society type issues. I find books about wealthy people really fascinating for some reason, and Nantucket Blue certainly delivered on that front as well.
Finally, we have the romance. Ah, the romance. Who doesn’t love a good forbidden romance? In a slew of unrealistic romances with little talk about sex in any sensible kind of way, Cricket and Zack are truly a standout couple. The issue of Zack being Jules’ brother and of him being younger than Cricket made it even more exciting. I also must say that I absolutely adored Zack. He’s sweet and flirty, and for some reason brought to mind Joe Fontaine of The Sky is Everywhere.
Reading Nantucket Blue is a joy to read and will make you want to find your own Zack this summer. It’s a charming, heartwarming book that made me feel like summer has officially begun.