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Nantucket Blue

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Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

"[Howland] evokes the Nantucket setting vividly . . . when it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it's more fun to get pushed over by a wave than to stay safely on your towel."

-The New York Times

*"Readers should feel empowered by Cricket's efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too."

-Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut."
--Boston Globe

"Utterly romantic and fun. I didn't want Nantucket Blue to end."

-New York Times best-selling author Jenny Han

"Several elements in this novel make it a little more than just another summer romance. Cricket's struggle to define herself apart from Jules, her decision to follow her heart, and her realization that she can rise above her parents' divorce make this a story that many teens will find absorbing."

--VOYA

It's going to be the perfect summer for Providence teenager Cricket Thompson. She'll live with her friend Jules' family in their Nantucket house and pursue Jay Logan, the boy of her dreams. But tragedy strikes Jules' life and everything changes, including their friendship. Cricket does end up on Nantucket, but living in the inn where she works long, hard hours. To her surprise, she falls in love with entirely the wrong person - and learns how magical love can be. A rich satisfying novel for high school students (and older).

--Providence Journal

"Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket's open appeal. Readers will root for her as she falls down, takes her lumps, and moves forward to her final year in high school, always remembering what she learned under the Nantucket sun."

--Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cricket Thompson is inseparable from her best friend Jules Clayton, so much so that she’s practically a member of the Clayton family. When Jules’s mother, Nina, dies unexpectedly, everything changes, including the friends’ plans to spend the summer in Nantucket—it’s “family only” now. Disappointed, 17-year-old Cricket heads to Nantucket anyway, becoming a chambermaid at a popular inn (“Would I be churning butter, cleaning chimneys, beating rugs with a broom? Who cared?”). As she tries to handle Nina’s death and rejection by Jules, unexpected love awaits. Debut author Howland’s descriptions for everything from a summer storm (“The grass in the back yard was rain-drunk”) to the stirrings of first love (“There was this lightness that occasionally took me over, making me feel like I was made of balloons”) are lush and moving. Readers should feel empowered by Cricket’s efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too. Ages 14–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (May)
From the Publisher
3Q 4P S Cricket Thompson is nearing high school graduation. She has had her eye on Jay for a long time, and just when it looks as though he is noticing her, a girl on an opposing lacrosse team "accidentally" lands a blow across Cricket's face during a game and hisses at her to leave him alone. Cricket hopes to see him during the summer, however, as her best friend, Jules, has invited her to the family's summer home in Nantucket. But then, just as the school year is ending, Jules's mother suddenly dies, and the ground shifts under both girls. Jules tells Cricket that she cannot be the family guest after all. Cricket believes that Jules needs her and manages to get a job at a Nantucket inn, only to find that Jules and her summer friends snub her. Jules's younger brother, however, likes Cricket a lot. Several elements in this novel make it a little more than just another summer romance. Cricket's struggle to define herself apart from Jules, her decision to follow her heart, and her realization that she can rise above her parents' divorce make this a story that many teens will find absorbing. The first-person narrative reveals Cricket to be an observant person, providing detailed imagery as part of the story's flow. Pacing is just right, and the conclusion is satisfying. References to losing one's virginity may be a reason to recommend the novel to older teens.-Marla K. Unruh. Nantucket Blue is an extremely well-written book. The book gives readers sports, friendship, loss, and romance; this story could not be better written. It is definitely a book worth reading multiple times. 5Q, 4P.-Amber Brown, Teen Reviewer.—VOYA

Gr 9 Up Cricket Thompson, 17, is elated to be invited to her friend Jules's home on Nantucket for the summer. She adores Jules's family, who have been a sanctuary for her since her parents' divorce. The cherry on top is that Cricket's crush, Jay, will also be on the island. An unexpected tragedy, however, brings Cricket's idyllic plans to an abrupt end. Determined to be available for Jules in the aftermath of her mother's death, Cricket finds a job on Nantucket as a chambermaid at an inn. Jules, however, is aloof and unresponsive; Cricket is left to fend for herself. The teen's summer of independence leads her to an internship with a journalist, a friendship with a feisty Irish fellow-chambermaid, revelations about her mother, and an unexpected romance. Howland captures the delicious summery flavor of Nantucket beautifully. Readers with an aversion to an overly sweet romantic story will find themselves pleasantly surprised with "real" language, humorous quirks in characters, and some interesting perspectives and angles. The story is paced well: slow enough to savor, yet not so tedious as to become monotonous. Minor characters appear, add a bit of color, and then vanish appropriately quite reflective of real life as it unfolds. Cricket's experiences give her a route to a new sense of confidence, and her story is told in a way that is both engaging and alluring. Definitely a standout novel in its genre. Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada—SLJ

Cricket's summer holds such promise: staying with best friend, Jules, on Nantucket; seeing too-good-to-be-true Jay every day; and, of course, sunbathing in a bikini. But when Jules' mother dies unexpectedly, the summer offer is rescinded and Jules distances herself from her friend. But Cricket heads to Nantucket anyway and takes a job as a chambermaid ("It sounded like a job from another century, like a charwoman") and settles into a daily rhythm of cleaning toilets, avoiding Jules and Jay (she offended him), and interning for a journalist. As with the best summer romances, Cricket falls for someone unexpected and totally off-limits-which only amps up the crackling sexual tension. Cricket is a smart, driven character, and despite having plenty of issues to work through the summer before senior year, she's on the path to self-awareness. Nice descriptions of Nantucket, too. - Ann Kelley—Booklist

A summer-at-the-beach story takes readers to Nantucket. When 17-year-old Cricket is promised the chance to spend her summer on Nantucket at her best friend Jules Clayton's vacation home, she's psyched. In addition to lazy days at the beach, summer on Nantucket means the opportunity to connect with her longtime crush, Jay Logan. But when tragedy strikes the Clayton family, Cricket's summer invite is rescinded. Undeterred, Cricket hatches her own secret plans to stay on the island to support Jules, but upon arrival, her plans fall through, leaving her without a place to stay, no summer job and on the outs with Jules. In a stroke of good luck, Cricket lands on her feet, finding a less-than-glamorous job at an inn that serves as her base for a summer of unexpected adventures and new friendships. Though the book has an overall lighthearted summer vibe, Cricket's bumpy relationship with her divorced parents, especially her mother, and her fractured friendship with Jules ground the text, providing a welcome sense of reality in a tony island paradise. Cricket's narration vacillates between hyperbole and thoughtful introspection, making the text feel uneven in places; this reflects Cricket's development, as the narration matures along with Cricket. A solid beach read. (Fiction. 15-18)—Kirkus

Cricket Thompson is inseparable from her best friend Jules Clayton, so much so that she's practically a member of the Clayton family. When Jules's mother, Nina, dies unexpectedly, everything changes, including the friends' plans to spend the summer in Nantucket-it's "family only" now. Disappointed, 17-year-old Cricket heads to Nantucket anyway, becoming a chambermaid at a popular inn ("Would I be churning butter, cleaning chimneys, beating rugs with a broom? Who cared?"). As she tries to handle Nina's death and rejection by Jules, unexpected love awaits. Debut author Howland's descriptions for everything from a summer storm ("The grass in the back yard was rain-drunk") to the stirrings of first love ("There was this lightness that occasionally took me over, making me feel like I was made of balloons") are lush and moving. Readers should feel empowered by Cricket's efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too. Ages 14 up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (May)—PW

Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
For Cricket Thompson, almost eighteen, life looks pretty good. As the book opens, she has just scored her third lacrosse goal, helping her team from Rosewood School for Girls win the state championship, despite a nasty collision with mean girl Nora Malloy from the opposing team. Hottie Jay Logan is watching from the sidelines—a potential boyfriend? Thankfully, Jules, her BFF, is on the team and the two can talk about it at Jules' house. Cricket spends a lot of time at Jules' house, and is practically part of the family, consisting of Jules' dad, her way-cool mom, Nina, and her funny, cooler-by-the-minute, younger brother, Zack. When Nina invites Cricket to come along for their summer in Nantucket, Cricket can't believe her luck. Jules' family is almost perfect, and Cricket finds little joy at home. Her parents are divorced; her dad is already remarried with an adopted, very needy son. So all there is a Cricket's house is her mom who is still grieving the break-up. Rosy summer plans come crashing down when Jules' mom dies suddenly. Cricket must stay home and she dreads a summer of babysitting while her wealthier friends all take off for the magical Nantucket. She persuades her mom to allow her to look for work in Nantucket. and ends up working as a maid for the Cranberry Inn. Plenty of time to "be there" for Jules, plus evenings free to join in the night life with the beautiful young people, right? Wrong. Working and vacationing are different things and Cricket has to find a new path.. The book's cover features a young couple on the beach, clothed but embracing with one on top of the other. While many young adult readers may find this a compelling summer read, I would hope that they are older young adults. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
VOYA - Amber Brown
Nantucket Blue is an extremely well-written book. The book gives readers sports, friendship, loss, and romance; this story could not be better written. It is definitely a book worth reading multiple times. Reviewer: Amber Brown, Teen Reviewer
VOYA - Marla K. Unruh
Cricket Thompson is nearing high school graduation. She has had her eye on Jay for a long time, and just when it looks as though he is noticing her, a girl on an opposing lacrosse team "accidentally" lands a blow across Cricket's face during a game and hisses at her to leave him alone. Cricket hopes to see him during the summer, however, as her best friend, Jules, has invited her to the family's summer home in Nantucket. But then, just as the school year is ending, Jules's mother suddenly dies, and the ground shifts under both girls. Jules tells Cricket that she cannot be the family guest after all. Cricket believes that Jules needs her and manages to get a job at a Nantucket inn, only to find that Jules and her summer friends snub her. Jules's younger brother, however, likes Cricket a lot. Several elements in this novel make it a little more than just another summer romance. Cricket's struggle to define herself apart from Jules, her decision to follow her heart, and her realization that she can rise above her parents' divorce make this a story that many teems will find absorbing. The first-person narrative reveals Cricket to be an observant person, providing detailed imagery as part of the story's flow. Pacing is just right, and the conclusion is satisfying. References to losing one's virginity may be a reason to recommend the novel to older teens. Reviewer: Marla K. Unruh
Library Journal
To my mind, the perfect novel for spring break is the one that makes you eager for the summer, as this one does. Cricket has been offered a perfect summer in Nantucket, with the family of her best friend, Jules. When a family tragedy puts a halt to their plans, Cricket decides to go it alone, taking a job as a chambermaid in a quaint Nantucket bed-and-breakfast. There she makes friends with her fellow staff, begins an impromptu internship with a journalist/biographer, and fall into a romantic relationship with Jules’s younger brother, Zack, knowing that Jules will never forgive her if they are discovered. Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket’s open appeal. Readers will root for her as she falls down, takes her lumps, and moves forward to her final year in high school, always remembering what she learned under the Nantucket sun.

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Cricket Thompson, 17, is elated to be invited to her friend Jules's home on Nantucket for the summer. She adores Jules's family, who have been a sanctuary for her since her parents' divorce. The cherry on top is that Cricket's crush, Jay, will also be on the island. An unexpected tragedy, however, brings Cricket's idyllic plans to an abrupt end. Determined to be available for Jules in the aftermath of her mother's death, Cricket finds a job on Nantucket as a chambermaid at an inn. Jules, however, is aloof and unresponsive; Cricket is left to fend for herself. The teen's summer of independence leads her to an internship with a journalist, a friendship with a feisty Irish fellow-chambermaid, revelations about her mother, and an unexpected romance. Howland captures the delicious summery flavor of Nantucket beautifully. Readers with an aversion to an overly sweet romantic story will find themselves pleasantly surprised with "real" language, humorous quirks in characters, and some interesting perspectives and angles. The story is paced well: slow enough to savor, yet not so tedious as to become monotonous. Minor characters appear, add a bit of color, and then vanish appropriately-quite reflective of real life as it unfolds. Cricket's experiences give her a route to a new sense of confidence, and her story is told in a way that is both engaging and alluring. Definitely a standout novel in its genre.—Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
A summer-at-the-beach story takes readers to Nantucket. When 17-year-old Cricket is promised the chance to spend her summer on Nantucket at her best friend Jules Clayton's vacation home, she's psyched. In addition to lazy days at the beach, summer on Nantucket means the opportunity to connect with her longtime crush, Jay Logan. But when tragedy strikes the Clayton family, Cricket's summer invite is rescinded. Undeterred, Cricket hatches her own secret plans to stay on the island to support Jules, but upon arrival, her plans fall through, leaving her without a place to stay, no summer job and on the outs with Jules. In a stroke of good luck, Cricket lands on her feet, finding a less-than-glamorous job at an inn that serves as her base for a summer of unexpected adventures and new friendships. Though the book has an overall lighthearted summer vibe, Cricket's bumpy relationship with her divorced parents, especially her mother, and her fractured friendship with Jules ground the text, providing a welcome sense of reality in a tony island paradise. Cricket's narration vacillates between hyperbole and thoughtful introspection, making the text feel uneven in places; this reflects Cricket's development, as the narration matures along with Cricket. A solid beach read. (Fiction. 15-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423160519
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/7/2013
  • Series: Nantucket Blue Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 518,976
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.32 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila Howland spent five years acting in New York in everything from an MTV public service announcement for safe sex to a John Guare play at Lincoln Center and was a proud company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. Currently, she teaches high school English and English as a second language in downtown Los Angeles and occasionally moonlights as an extra on the Young and the Restless. This is her first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Nantucket Blue' was an enchanting coming-of-age novel that touc

    'Nantucket Blue' was an enchanting coming-of-age novel that touched on some serious teenage issues, including teen sex and the loss of a loved one at an early age.

    Cricket was a girl who was looking forward to spending her summer vacation in Nantucket with her best friend, Jules, and her family, but then a tragedy strikes.

    There was something really appealing about Cricket as a character. She cared about people, possibly too much. She faced everyday issues and she was nice to everyone, whether they deserved it or not. She dealt with awkward situations bravely. I loved her burgeoning self-confidence and growth in this story.

    The secondary characters enhanced the brilliance of this novel and each one was special, even the ones who acted liked dimwits after certain things happened. There was only one character who I didn't get frustrated with because the tragedy that occurred can be dealt with in different ways and it can change a person. It can make them do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do.

    The love interest in this book was adorable. I really liked the differences in this romance compared with other romance stories I've read about. It was more interesting and infinitely more sweet. There was an uniqueness about it, and even though there were complications to the budding romance, it still remained lovely. It really touched the hopeless romantic in me.

    I enjoyed the writing style of 'Nantucket Blue' and the pace of the novel flowed well. There was also an enjoyable sub-plot happening in the novel, as well - particularly between Cricket and her mother. This book was a light and fun read - even with the tragedy that occurred. 

    I would recommend this book to anyone. I think everyone will find something they like about the book, even if they don't absolutely love it.  

    Book review by Sandy at Magical Manuscripts.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Best Book I've Ever Read

    THIS AUTHOR NEEDS TO WRITE A SEQUEL!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2013

    I was super excited to be included on this blog tour!  I have be

    I was super excited to be included on this blog tour!  I have been eyeing this book since it was listed earlier this year on the debut author list! So when Itching for Books sent out the invite, I was ALL OVER THIS ONE!




    I’m going to start with the cover on this one. I LOVE this cover.  I am of the camp that the cover means so much for the book. When I look at this cover I think SUMMER ROMANCE and it definitely makes me want to pick up the book and read it!




    Now onto the juicer stuff… Oh how I loved this book! This one was so well written! I will admit as soon as I got this one I loaded it up and read it. I promised myself just a chapter or two.  But if you have read any of my reviews, than you know that doesn’t happen once I get into a good book. Once I’m in a good book it pretty much takes an act of God to pry me out of it. SO…. yeah… I think I read on this one until about 2 in the morning. The only good thing on this was it was a weekend morning.




    I totally connected with the way Cricket felt like she was part of another family.  When I was in high school and through much of college I was that way with my best friends family as well.  I can’t imagine what would have happened if I had lost my best friends mom. I probably would have been as devastated as Cricket was.




    Anyway, it really is a summer of growing up for Cricket.  She has to learn to navigate without her best friend. She ends up going to Nantucket without her, seeing her best friend having a great time without her, seeing he guy she likes moving on without her.  Cricket does find romance in an unlikely place, and having a job.  Cricket also has to deal with grief that she wasn’t expecting.




    I loved this story and that way it was written.  It is a beautiful book. A serious one for sure. A lot of issue about growing up. I shed quite a few tears. And it gave me quite a few things to think about.




    Overall, this one is going on my favorite list for sure.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2014

    More summery YA contemporaries! Cricket vows to have a great s



    More summery YA contemporaries! Cricket vows to have a great summer with her best friend Jules on Nantucket island, a place she's yet to go herself though Jules spends every summer there. But when Jules' family befalls tragedy, plans change. Jules' family decides to spend a quiet summer on the island without her. Cricket is deeply affected given spending time with Jules' family beats solving her own family's issues--a lonely mom and dad who's moved on to a new family. Cricket knows Jules needs her, so she finds summer work on the island, and shows up to surprise Jules.


    The flavor of elite vacationers in Nantucket serves as a theme for Cricket's experience. Class issues are explored, as well as family loyalties, and self preservation. Cricket finds her family's hurts follow her to the island, as does Jules'. Cricket's other motivation for a Nantucket summer relates to a boy she knows back home who is also there for summer. But, love has other plans for her....


    This is a solid summer contemporary, and a second book Nantucket Red is also available.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Pinkipad

    Kiss yor hand three times and post this on three different book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Lovely

    Nantucket is one of the few books i couldnt stop reading.. i started reading nantucket blue last night, and read it through the nugh...I JUST COULDNT PUT IT DOWN! There is nothing i dint love. Purchasing nantucket red right now!
    Best wishes, fellow readers!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I picked this book up because I have been looking for nice conte

    I picked this book up because I have been looking for nice contemporary YA reads. I have been impressed for the most part by what has been suggested for me lately, so this seemed to slip right into that category and I thought for sure I would like it.




    Blurb 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.




    I have to say that I love the cover of this book. It's so simple but relays so much. The sand, the water's color, the two teens on the beach. I really love how the story is portrayed in the cover.




    Cricket starts off this story with a bang. We meet her while she's playing a lacrosse game. It's intense and her personality comes through immediately: she's tough and confident and not afraid to go for what she wants. But when tragedy strikes her best friend, she kind of loses that oomph and fizzles a bit. She flounders and realizes that much of who she is has been based on her best friend, Jules. She's suddenly unsure of herself, so much so she becomes a bit annoying in her actions towards others. And it also forces her into a totally selfish place, where she cannot separate her needs and the needs of others.




    Jules, well, I didn't get enough about her to really get to know her. Since the tragedy strikes her family, she's pretty much introverted the entire novel. She doesn't want to have anything to do with Cricket and feels Cricket has been moving in on her family, wanting to be a part of it. And Cricket has become part of her family, but now Jules needs her distance and Cricket has a hard time realizes and understanding this. Honestly, I didn't even really understand her. I needed more development from her to really see why it was she pushed Cricket so far away.




    Zach, I love him. He's quirky and funny and just all around lovable. He flirts, but it's in such an underlying way you're not really sure if that's what he is actually doing. And I love that he's younger than the girls, it makes him more vulnerable. But Zach is so strong, so much stronger than anyone realizes. He totally understands himself and what he wants and he's not afraid to go after it.




    The secondary characters in this book are great. Cricket's mom, who is quite distant. Cricket's Dad, who has taken on a new family and pretty much pushed Cricket away. And the people Cricket meets along the way, who help her realize what she needs and how she must break out on her own to get it: George, Gavin and Liz.




    The pacing of the story is nice. It's slow in some parts. And I can say that Cricket tended to get on my nerves more than anything else. I wanted to really punch her at times. And it wasn't until the final 10% of the book when she realizes what she needs and that's to change how she is, to be less selfish. It was hard for me to wait that long for it.




    Howland's writing is good. She draws you in right away with the sports scene and keeps you there with her witty characters. She portrays real life teen dramas in a way that is understandable and relatable. Teen selfishness is not unheard of for sure!




    Overall this was a fun, easy and fast read. Definitely a read for people who like sweet contemporary YA

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "At that moment it seemed that all our feelings were shimme

    "At that moment it seemed that all our feelings were shimmering above us, around us, in a new and stunning constellation." 

    I had read so many great things about this book, I was certain I would like it, but I didn't realize just how much. I loved Cricket. I loved Zack. I loved the chemistry they shared.  I thought the majority of the characters were complex and well-developed. They were even quite relatable and mostly likable, even if they were far from perfect. 

    This book wasn't quite as light and fluffy as I thought it would be and I'm glad that it wasn't. It was a little meatier than I thought I wanted, but it ended up being exactly what I needed in the end. This was so much more than a beach read, but that would be a great place to read it. There's a focus on family, friendships and what happens when one person begins to change, romance, as well as some harder-hitting issues I'll leave you to learn about yourself. I may have shed a couple tears during Nantucket Blue. 

    Leila Howland hits it out of the park with her debut book. I look forward to many more fantastic books from her.

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    I had a few issues with this one but also really enjoyed it. The

    I had a few issues with this one but also really enjoyed it. The setting was done beautifully, and I mostly found Cricket to be a very real and relatable character. I liked the romance, though I suspect I would've liked it more if it would've been taken at a more natural, believable pace emotionally. I think that was my biggest problem with the book overall: is that I felt as if a lot of the conversations and transitions were sort of glossed over that I would've liked to see played out and fully fleshed. The whole Jules thing sort of weakly petered out, and there was a little red herring set up early on I kept waiting to turn into something interesting that never did.

    Overall, though, it was fun and thoughtful and felt real and the romance was cute, so, lots of ultimate wins.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    With every turn of the page, I was transported to the island of

    With every turn of the page, I was transported to the island of Nantuck--which is probably why it took me only a day and a half to devour this book while sitting on the beach. I never wanted to put it down.  It was the perfect start to my summer reading list!  
    As a person who has never been a fan of overly descriptive narratives, Nantucket Blue strikes the perfect balance between painting a realistic background and carrying the reader off to a mystical wonderland of beauty without on over abundance figurative language. Howland’s illuminating writing style casts the most charming imagery for the world that is Nantucket.  While reading the book, I felt like I could smell Gavin’s delicious muffins wafting through the gardens of the Cranberry Inn. Her words magically awaken the reader’s senses to the special charm of this quaint island.  
    Although this book was written for young adults, it really appealed to me as an older adult raising two girls.  I was completely engaged in the main character Cricket as she discovered and worked through the many perils that a teenager faces as they mature--friendships, romance, divorce, death, etc.  The author really nails the hormone fueled inconsistent thought process of a teen.  It reminded me so much of my teenage niece!  
    Nantucket Blue is a spirited novel that will keep me coming back for more.  

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland is the perfect book for summer.

    Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland is the perfect book for summer. It evokes the feelings of being young and hoping the summer would be magical. That everything could change if you can get the right boy to notice you and spend the summer near the water.

    Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland captures a summer in New England (and this New Englander loved the setting but I may be biased.) Cricket Thompson is in the summer before her senior year and is about to turn 18. She spends most of her time with her best friend Jules and her family until tragedy strikes. So what was meant to be an epic summer with her best friend, turns into a summer where she lives on her own and is forced to confront the feelings she has been hiding from.

    Cricket is a very likeable and relatable character. She is hurt by her parents actions but is unsure how to handle it. As the child of divorced parents, I found this story line to be relatable. Being almost an adult but having little control of those in your life can be difficult.

    Nantucket Blue has a great love story where Cricket finally meets the right guy. This part of the book is so sweet and very swoon worthy. It also shows maturity on Crickets part when she has to choose between what is right in front of her and what she thought she always wanted.

    Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland is a beautiful story about growing-up and learning to confront your problems. The love story is excellent and made it difficult to put down. The ending is ultimately satisfying and I was sad that it was over. I highly recommend picking up a copy of Nantucket Blue this summer.
    What You Will Find

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  • Posted May 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fun Summer Read Everything seems to be going great for Cricket T

    Fun Summer Read
    Everything seems to be going great for Cricket Thompson.  She has her best friend Jules, Jay, the boy she has crushed on forever is finally paying attention to her, and Jules family has invited her to spend the summer with them in Nantucket.  Cricket thinks things can't get any better, then suddenly tragedy strikes and everything falls apart.  Cricket still makes it to Nantucket, but not with Jules.  In fact, after the tragedy, Jules seems to hate her and want nothing to do with her.  Zack, Jules brother, still wants to be friends, and the two of them wind up spending time together, but when friendship turns into something more, is Jules willing to go for what seems forbidden, or will she be willing to take a chance on love?




    Nantucket Blue is a great summer read.  The story is cute and entertaining, and the romance is sweet.  I liked getting to know Cricket and watching her mature as the summer progressed, while she figured out what was really important and what wasn't.  I loved Zack's character.  He was really a really great guy, and he ended up surprising me.  Jules really ticked me off and despite feeling sorry for her, I didn't like her much at all.  I truly enjoyed the secondary characters, Liz, Gavin, and George, which were all entertaining and well written.  They were pivotal in helping Cricket get through her summer.  If you want a light, fun, cute, and romantic summer story that doesn't take a long time to read, then Nantucket Blue fits the bill and you may want to check it out.  

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  • Posted May 14, 2013

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    Nantucket Blue was so much more than a romantic beach contempora

    Nantucket Blue was so much more than a romantic beach contemporary. From the start, something tragic happens to Cricket's best friend's family. Jules immediately starts to grow distant and the invitation to Nantucket Blue that Cricket was so excited about was taken back by Jules. It was decided that Jules's family will deal with the tragedy alone. However because Cricket didn't want to spend another summer at home trying to cheer up her mother who has become depressed ever since the divorce as well as fight for her father's attention between her and his new wife and her adopted son, Cricket decides that she will go to Nantucket. Unfortunately the job she secures ends up falling apart and she wanders until she finds a job working as a house cleaner at an inn. However we soon find out that Jules isn't all that happy that Cricket is here for her. This is when the drama begins.I hate Jules!!!! phew, ok that is out of the way. Yes, something tragic happens, yes we have to be more sympathetic. But that doesn't mean that when your own best friend screws you over by tattletaling to your crush as well as embarrassing you in front of her Nantucket friends and basically telling you to "get lost" you'll still give her excuses and stick around right? I am SO glad Cricket isn't like the typical protagonists that still come for more hurt and embarrassment. Cricket stays well clear of Jules but starts spending more time with her younger brother Zach. He is a year younger than her, and be prepared, he is also a potential love interest. To be honest I was pretty annoyed at the beginning by this introduction, especially since she already has a crush on a guy from a school back home who started lifeguarding at Nantucket for this summer. Overtime, I have to say that Zach won me over. I am glad Howland didn't take the path of making Zach the goofy younger guy. He basically filled the void that Jules left behind in Cricket's heart. I loved their scenes together and the transition from friends to more was done really well. I personally think Nantucket was such an enjoyable book because of all the great characters in the story. We have George, the writer who Cricket starts interning for. He was such a funny guy and I would have totally shipped him with Cricket's mom, if only he wasn't married. There is also Liz, who also works at the inn. They definitely made Cricket's summer more bearable. I have to point out, if you are expecting a book that is spent on the beach and is all about the summer romance, then you better adjust your expectations. This book is about a girl whose life decides to tip over her balance and let her find a way to adjust to all the changes that happened. Cricket was such a great protagonist with a voice that never bored me. I finished Nantucket Blue in a day and was actually sad to see it end. I would recommend it to all contemporary YA fans. 

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  • Posted May 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

        This is a great summer read, but with an emotional punch. Na

        This is a great summer read, but with an emotional punch. Nantucket Blue has a complex plot, and I love how everything works together to make Cricket, the main character, stronger and realize more about herself. 
        I really connected with Cricket. Her uncertainty, her self esteem issues, the way she loves fiercely and how she wants to do the right thing. She was a great main character, and I loved journeying in her head, and watching her discover herself and grow through this summer away from home. I also loved a remark she made about comebacks, that they never came at the right time, but later when she couldn't use them. But Jules always had the right thing to say, and that made their friendship balance. Not only do I relate to the not knowing what to say, I have been there. She also made a remark about seeing popularity and how it plays out, and that it doesn't go away after high school. That seemed almost insurmountable, but unfortunately it is true. I am 28 and I still feel left out and see the back biting and fakeness of some of the relationships around me, and its sad. 
        Nantucket Blue begins the emotional very soon in. I thought that it would be later in the book, but it snuck right in there. I knew that the blurb mentioned a tragedy, but I guess that I was expecting more fluffy than the emotional distress that everyone was in. But it was all amazingly written and I could relate with what everyone was going through, and it felt like it was coming off the page in waves.  
        The writing is almost poetic at times, and the whole story is beautifully written. I think it expressed well feelings that I have had at times, and was unable to really express. But one thing that Cricket though really stuck with me. 
    "And I knew that it had only been a week of being alone in the world, but a week is a long time to feel like that."
        There is a fabulous cast of characters, and each brings something to the story. There is George, the journalist, who takes Cricket as an intern on the side, and she learns so much about people, and what she wants through him. Liz is a co-worker and what she deemed herself as the top adviser of matters of the heart for Cricket. How they worked together and had real conversations about things was neat. Another element is how she got to know her mom through a diary that she found. Cricket's mom had been pretty down and depressed after the divorce and these pages from her past helped Cricket to see her as a full person and gave her clues to help her mom rediscover her life. 
        The relationship with Cricket and her parents was strained but realistic. I can see how a divorce would put that stress on the family. I liked how Cricket was close to her mom, but there was still this gap because of their pain. And there are moments--the great dad challenge that I am thinking of, that shows how close they used to be and it is clear that Cricket is hurting. I hate that in this book we didn't really see a full resolution, but there was hinting at reconciliation, so I will just make it a perfect world in the open end that the story leaves with this thread and let them figure it all out. 
        Cricket and her best friend Jules have a rich past, and you can see how close they were before the tragedy, but their friendship was anything but simple and beautiful after. I didn't quite get the divide with their relationship but the reasons made sense when they began to slowly repair their friendship later in the book. I knew that Jules was grieving and there is a quote that I think sums everything perfectly, but it was still hard to watch Cricket be in so much pain from mean things Jules said, and being pushed away. 
    "It's like there is a wall around her right now. And no one is allowed in. No one."
    "Parker is."
    "Parker can't even see the wall. That is the whole point."
         There is a forbidden love, and I enjoyed every minute. It is unexpected and I loved the slow build. The banter, the friendship, the stolen kisses, and more. There is some swoon worthy moments and I just had to share one.
    Then the feeling changed again, into something brighter, something alive and jumping, like a sparkler in my chest, when I slid into the front seat next to him and our thighs touched.
    Yeah, it is that kind of love story. And it rocked. But that didn't mean it was perfect. Their relationship was being hidden from someone who could feel very betrayed because of it, and some decisions that ultimately led to clarity from Cricket also hurt the lover. 
         But the ending was bittersweet, and everything wrapped up to my satisfaction. So, through the pain and rising above it, still choosing to live and learn and love. 




    Bottom Line: Powerful and emotional but fun summer read about loss, love, and the hope of healing.

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