Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Summary (from Goodreads):
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 wasn’t what I was expecting. I was anticipating a nice, easy, light-hearted beach read. I took it to the beach with me (near where the book takes place, kind of). It was a little deeper than I wanted at the time, but I did enjoy it.
I was not the biggest fan of the main character. She was both a little too na├»ve for my liking and too aware of how everyone else thinks. Though, I guess the latter would make sense for a teenager, though maybe not to this extent. However, sometimes I love a good YA where I don’t immediately fall for the main character. Cricket is a character I grew to love by the end. She grew up some by the end, like all good YA main characters do in summer books.
I also never liked the best friend. She was awful to Cricket. Loosing a parent does not give someone the excuse to become an awful human being. I just don’t feel like there can be an excuse for the way Cricket’s supposed best friend treated her. On the other hand, this again was super believable and brought me back to middle school when girls would pick up and then drop friends like in style and out of style accessories. And I never want to sound like the person who goes, well the girl being bullied deserved it because she was really ignorant and stupid to all the signs. But, I did find myself wanting to slap Cricket in the face a few times because, hello!
I also feel like the romance could have been written better. I feel like it was pretty instantaneous. I wish I could have seen more of the two characters acting as friends first. I wanted it to build slowly. Instead, it felt a bit like the main character was taking any way she could to continue to attach herself to her friend’s life and family. So, while I hated how mean the best friend was, I could also continue to understand her anger. Neither girl was all too great (Cricket because she was blind to way too many things and Jules because she was terribly mean).
I loved all the side characters. I found the hotel staff where Cricket worked to be wonderful. I like that she found her own life for herself on Nantucket. I liked that her internship with the writer led to her mother’s history on the island. I completely immersed myself in the world of Nantucket. The author knows how to write a setting; that’s for sure. And I loved Cricket’s relationship with her mother.
I’m interested in seeing how the island affected Cricket later (in Nantucket Red). And while there were a lot of things that weren’t my favorite here, I did still get completely lost and hooked on this book. I do wish the teens were a tad bit nicer. And I wish I got more time with Cricket’s other friends. But all in all, I give it a 8/10.

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