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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Title: Nantucket Blue
Author: Leila Howland
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publishing House: Disney Hyperion
ISBN: 9781423160519
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked

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.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads)


Cricket knows that this summer is going to rock. She's invited to stay with her best friend Jules' family in their Nantucket house, where a. she can hang out with her bff all day long, b. she can finally get together with the gorgeous Jay Logan, and c. hel-lo, she can just have fun without worrying about the looming prospect of college. But this perfect dream turns to ashes when Nina, Jules' mother who Cricket positively adores, suddenly passes away. Her best friend starts pulling away from her, and her invitation to stay at the Clayton house in Nantucket is rescinded. Cricket thinks that this isn't something that anyone should go through alone, so she finds another way to stay on Nantucket - whether Jules welcomes her with open arms or not. 

There are a lot of reasons why Nantucket Blue was such a pleasure for me to read, including but not limited to the pseudo-mini vacation Howland all invites us to as we join Cricket in her quest for the best summer ever in her high school life. I loved that I could very well imagine myself in beautiful Nantucket without leaving my favorite reading spot (and getting a much unwanted tan). Initially, Cricket and Jules' friendship is made of the strong stuff that could put any super glue to shame. But when the rug is pulled out of Jules' feet, Cricket can't help but stumble as well. Nina, Jules' mom, is everything that Cricket's mom is not. She's stylish, vivacious, a bit eccentric, and she doesn't care about what strangers might think of her. This death is basically the catalyst of what changes Cricket and Jules' friendship. And while Jules is drifting further and further apart from her and surrounding herself with her Nantucket friends - friends that Jules obviously does not have in common with Cricket - Jules' younger brother, Zack, is becoming more than just a friend to her.

Cricket is immensely likable, even if she does come off as thinking of herself too highly at times. No matter how many times it seems that the universe is conspiring against her to not make her stay at Nantucket, she finds a way to be there. Scrubbing toilets and changing sheets might not be the ideal scenario, but hey, she's on Nantucket! I also like how Cricket doesn't seem to let Jules' shabby treatment of her make her go back running home; in fact, it even makes her determined to make things good again between them. Cricket's flaws can only be perceived as endearing because no matter how much I look at it, she's just looking out for her best friend, and making sure she's alright - which makes Cricket just so real to me.

The ending had some loose ends, but I am very sure that I don't want to take off any rainbows for that reason because I immensely enjoyed reading this one. Although Nantucket Blue sometimes came across as having too many things going on at the same time, I still get a nice feeling whenever I see this one on bookshelves. I'd recommend Nantucket Blue to anyone who's looking for a beach read. People who are too busy for a vacation, or find themselves hampered by work or school work can also pick this up to be transported to a magical Nantucket.

Edit: AHHH!!! There's going to be a Nantucket Red, out May 2014. Heaps excited!



  1. Really??? Four stars??? I must definitely check this out! The reviews I've read have been middling to high so I didn't bother checking this one out as I didn't see anything special in the blurb AND it is a series. But then you gave it four stars so I'm off to skip and read some more reviews! :P

  2. To be honest, even I was surprised! There were some flaws like the novel sometimes trying to incorporate other sub-elements, but I enjoyed this one too much.