Today I'm excited to be part of the Itching for Books Blog Tour for Nantucket Blue by Leila Howard, a new contemporary young adult coming of age romance. Thanks to Disney-Hyperion for a review copy of the novel through Net-Galley.This one should go on everyone's summer reading list! It's a great beach read!!
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Hardcover 304 pages
To Buy Links-
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.
Cricket is such a lovable character. My heart went out to her right away even as I knew she was making mistakes. I understood her actions were coming from her heart but I could see from the reactions that they weren't seen that way. Cricket has had it tough in the parental department. Her parents are divorced. Her father remarried to a wife who has a difficult child, one she adopted from a Russian orphanage who has special needs. There is no time for her. Her mother is just depressed. And she'd love someone to wallow in her misery with her. The Claytons are her ideal family and she's over there all the time. But when tragedy strikes them, Jules Clayton, her best friend, cuts the ties that bound her to them and Cricket feels homeless. She's determined to live on Nantucket for the summer for numerous reasons, the biggest being that Jules will need her. I gave Cricket and A for effort. She has absolutely the biggest heart. She helps everyone, is afraid to have her own happiness for fear of hurting someone else. She's almost too good to be true, but she isn't an angel so hold onto your halo.
She's just as vulnerable as the rest of us to corruption. But in a very fun way.
Jules- Didn't like her. The End! You won't either. I dare anyone to tell me they did. Meet me on the playground.
Zach- Jules' brother. Zach was like a breath of fresh air as far as guys in books go. He wasn't the hero to save the day. He wasn't pretending to be anything. He was just Jules' younger brother. He was funny and a familiar face when Cricket really needed one. He knew where to go and how to stay out of trouble and how to avoid people. Even the good beaches. So he was good for Cricket. Someone she'd known for a long time who didn't resent her relationship with his mother.
There are a lot of secondary characters, plenty, and they all play important roles. Some are more developed than others like Cricket's mom, while Jay Logan, Cricket's crush since 8th grade is hardly known. But some of the secondary characters really bring Cricket's days to life and help fill in the story with some memorable scenes. There is even a Kennedy like family living on Nantucket.
The world is Nantucket in summer. I don't think it gets much better than quaint little towns with expensive shops, incredible restaurants, little inns and bed and breakfasts, cobblestone streets and an island surrounded by white sandy beaches, sailboats and blue water. I'll take a house there please! Honestly you'll feel like you can walk the streets yourself. And you'll know the inn where Cricket gets a job and lives while she's on Nantucket. I can picture her little room so well. I see the beaches. And the uber rich homes on the beaches. Yeah, not hard to imagine at all.
The story was fantastic! Cricket has to learn that the friend she thought she knew as well as herself has either changed or been only showing part of herself to her. She learns how to stand up for herself and what she wants. To fix her own mistakes and how to be okay with things when she can't change them. She makes a lot of mistakes. Boy does she! This could be called My Summer of Mistakes. She's either putting her foot in it or showing up where she's not wanted or some other faux pas. But it's never intentional. And that's why you'll love Cricket. Her heart is in the right place. And she's on her way to do the right thing when she gets waylaid by something. Or someone gets in her way. Or someone just mows her down. Truthfully, Cricket has much more of a backbone than I will ever have!
You want character growth? Yes, a lot. And the ending, oh so painful, right to the very last words.
This is for mature readers. Drinking, sexual situations and language. It is a sometimes painful coming of age story about growing up, moving on and finding love where you least expect it.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel.