May 23, 2013

Nantucket Blue - Leila Howland

Nantucket Blue - Leila Howland
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Hardcover

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.

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. (modified from Goodreads)

Nantucket Blue was just the right read for a beautiful day where I lingered at the park and read in peace. The story has a relaxed, fun, summery vibe to it, and I immediately longed for the warmer days ahead of us. But it also has a lot of substance plot-wise, as Cricket spends the summer discovering new things about friendship, love and her own self, and dealing with the aftermath of these discoveries in her life. Howland successfully engages the reader in Cricket’s story, deftly laying it out against the backdrop of charming, beautiful Nantucket.

Howland certainly painted such a vivid picture of Nantucket for her readers. The first thought I had upon finishing Nantucket Blue was, “I have to go to Nantucket.” The way she described the beaches, the small town, the houses was fairly straightforward, but somehow the words she chose brought the place to life. It sounds like a lovely place to spend the summer, a place to relax, recuperate and live as simply as possible. Reading about Nantucket called forth an unvoiced longing in my heart for long summer days, beaches and quaint little towns, so kudos to Howland for picking such a lovely setting.

Cricket is what makes Nantucket Blue so wonderful, since it really is her story. Readers are given an insider’s look into Cricket’s thoughts, and are sure to be entertained.  Her thoughts and the way she expressed them struck me as that of a typical teen, bouncing back and forth from the positive to the negative and back again. But more than that, Cricket is fairly honest with herself and extremely funny. She made me chuckle a few times, particularly when she was thinking about her body’s reaction to, ahem, certain people.

Cricket is faced with a couple of situations during her summer in Nantucket Blue. It all begins when her best friend Jules invites her along to their annual summer vacation to Nantucket – and then abruptly retracts the invitation and distances herself from Cricket. (That’s situation #1.) Cricket’s disappointment lasts for the briefest moment as she latches onto an alternative way to Nantucket via a summer job. When her initial employment falls through, she luckily finds a job to replace it, although it’s not exactly what she planned to be doing. (That’s situation #2.) And then there’s the matter of her summer romance (which is pretty darn cute, mind you) (That’s situation #3.). Apart from these things, Cricket is dealing with her father’s new family, her mother’s passivity after the divorce and scores a summer internship with a writer. Obviously, Cricket has a lot on her plate. But she shows amazing resilience and strength in spite of everything being tossed her way, good and bad, and I really liked that about her! She slips up now and again, but that just made her even more human to me.  

Nantucket Blue is a contemporary novel with a lot of heart, thanks to main character Cricket. It reeled me in from start to finish, and it was hard not to finish the novel with a big smile on my face. If you’re searching for a book that promises summer fun, a sweet romance, and a main character you’ll love, then this is the perfect novel for you.

(P.S. You might want to check out this awesome Nantucket Blue playlist created by Betty & Cassie. I am absolutely in love with it -- and was surprised to find I knew almost all the songs!)


  1. I want to read this one so badly, your review makes it sound amazing. Definitely seems like the perfect summer read!

    Reading at the park sounds pretty perfect too :)

  2. YAY! I am glad that you liked the book as much as I did and I too am now dying to go to Nantucket! I will have to check out the playlist!

  3. I keep hearing how great this book is. I definitely need to read this one. And I love the cover. Thanks for the review.

  4. Oh gosh, you know, I keep seeing this one around, but I've held off because it kind of reminded me of Raw Blue's vibe. However, it's refreshing to hear just how different it is, and I love the sound of Cricket as the MC. I think I'm definitely going to need to get this one! Great review, Alexa :)

  5. Yes!!! She TOTALLY brought that whole world to life. I totally felt like I was there when reading and I loved that feeling!
    The romance was SO cute. I absolutely loved it and I loved getting to know Cricket!! I think there's a Nantucket Red coming out? And Thank God because I need to read more of this story!

  6. Wasn't this book a treasure?? I just loved everything about it. There's going to be a sequel, which makes me so happy!

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  7. I really enjoyed this one, too. I thought this was going to be a fluffy summer read and was surprised at how much depth it actually had. I absolutely adored the setting and am definitely going to try to spend a week or two in Nantucket...someday. I loved the romance and found the friendship between her and Jules very realistic. I loved the secondary characters at the inn. Great review!
    -Natalie @Natflix&Books

  8. YAYAYAY This makes me so happy! I'm glad you enjoyed it! I ALSO want to go to Nantucket!

    I loved Cricket, she was so real! Mistakes happen, and especially when you're young, I feel she represented this quite well!

  9. Your review is so nicely written :) I too loved Cricket's internal dialogue. The book had a good balance of seriousness and good-humored fun. I'm glad you liked it!

    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

  10. Great review! I really liked this one, especially the romance. I might have to reread it again this summer on the beach!

  11. I've read a handful of positive reviews for this book today, so I'm already more than convinced. Cricket definitely sounds like my sort of character. I'm glad she made this book for you.

    Lovely review, Alexa. :)

  12. I've had an ARC of this one for a while now and still haven't read it -- it sounds wonderful! I love a good romance. :)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)