Nantucket Red

( 5 )

Overview

Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket ...

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Nantucket Red

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Overview

Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

Praise for 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

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

-The Boston Globe

*"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

"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

Children's Literature - Sarah Raymond
The story begins with eighteen-year-old Cricket starting her senior year saying good-bye to her boyfriend Zack. He is starting at a private school and Cricket opted out of a long-term relationship feeling the distance would just be too hard. The book quickly moves through the year at lightning speed highlighting only the fact that Zack found a new girl, she reconciled her relationship with Jules and she was accepted to Brown University. The book slows down again as summer approaches and Cricket heads back to Nantucket to earn money for her first year in college. On the boat ride over she meets the cute guitar-wielding bartender Ben that just happens to work at the same restaurant as Cricket does. She also discovers Nina’s life list. Nina was her friend Jules’s mother, who passed away the year before. Through the summer Cricket begins to work through Nina’s life list and begins to experience life a little more. She spends some time figuring out who she is and what she wants to do once summer ends. Overall, this is a fun summertime book as readers follow Cricket through her summer experience. Reviewer: Sarah Raymond; Ages 14 up.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Stacy Holbrook
When Cricket’s boyfriend, Zack, moves to Connecticut for boarding school, she cannot bear to keep the relationship going long distance. But the “pause” Cricket suggests does not seem to work for Zack, who has a new girlfriend by Christmas. Cricket is devastated and lonely, but things turn around when she is accepted to Brown University and given an opportunity by her step-grandparents: raise $8,000—half the cost of room, board, and college expenses—and they will match it. Cricket seizes the opportunity, knowing only one place where she can make that kind of money in one summer—Nantucket. Cricket finds a job waitressing, stops practicing lacrosse, and becomes enamored with Ben, an older bartender, who helps her discover how to live in the moment. Cricket has always been the good daughter, the good friend, the good girl, but when she makes a drunken mistake one night, she suddenly has to fight for her future. The harder she fights for Brown, for lacrosse, and for being the person everyone wants her to be, the more she is uncertain of what she really wants. In this novel about finding oneself and following your heart, Howland creates a character that readers will be cheering for from beginning to end. Though a sequel to Nantucket Blue (Hyperion, 2013/Voya June 2013), this book is a stand-alone novel. School librarians might want to be aware that there is mention of a sexual encounter between Cricket and Zack from the previous summer; however, the only sexual act is told through innuendo. Reviewer: Stacy Holbrook; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-12
A coming-of-age story with a Nantucket backdrop serves up entertainment flavored with a dose of reality. This sequel to Nantucket Blue (2013) picks up after Cricket's first summer on the island, which was filled with best-friend drama, first loves and heartbreak, and fast-forwards through her senior year, which concludes with a hard-won acceptance to Brown and return ticket to Nantucket. For graduation, Cricket's best friend, Jules, presents her a framed photo of Jules' mother, Nina, who died the year before. In life, Cricket had idolized Nina. Hidden in the frame is Nina's bucket list of adventures, which ranges from learning how to drive and then going to Big Sur to drinking Campari on the Amalfi Coast. Without the funds to globe-trot, Cricket spends her summer creatively living her way through the list on Nantucket, but along the way, she hits significant snags, including one that throws her entire future and hard work into jeopardy. This second installment hinges on relationships of all kinds—romantic, friend-based and familial—and the ups and downs that they bring with them that push Cricket to accept her new role as an adult. Cricket is a realistically rendered just-graduated senior, with life concerns and encounters befitting an actual young adult. Enjoyable and introspective, this is more than just a summer beach read. (Fiction. 13-18)
From the Publisher
"Enjoyable and introspective, this is more than just a summer beach read."—Kirkus

"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

*"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."—The Boston Globe

Praise for 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

School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Senior year has been a rollercoaster for Cricket Thompson. After a summer full of love found and friendship lost, Cricket has navigated her way through her last year of high school and is on her way to an Ivy League college, with one catch—she'll have to live at home. When the teen is offered the chance to earn enough money and have the true college experience living on campus, she boards a ferry back to Nantucket. A year older and with more life experience, the girl readers first met in Howland's Nantucket Blue (Hyperion, 2013) sets out on a path that offers adventure, romance, and the chance to find herself. Nantucket Red is an engaging continuation of Cricket's story, and its pace is perfect for a long weekend or beach read. The protagonist is fully developed as a character, but secondary figures are not as fleshed out. Sure to circulate this summer and throughout the year, libraries will want to purchase this along with the first in the series. Even readers who avoid "chick lit" will find this story multidimensional and enjoyable. For fans of YA romance.—Betsy Davison, Cortland Free Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423160953
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/13/2014
  • Series: Nantucket Blue Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 184,511
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (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 lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. Nantucket Blue was her first novel.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 25, 2014

    Can someone please tell me why everyone in the world isn't going

    Can someone please tell me why everyone in the world isn't going crazy over this series? I freaking LOVED this book AND it's
    predecessor, NANTUCKET BLUE.  As a matter of fact, Zack Clayton made my list of top book boyfriends of 2013.  That's not an easy
    feat, yo.  I love a LOT of boys.  His all around good-guy qualities make him highly desirable.

    So, imagine my surprise when he does something VERY un-good guy like in the opening chapters of NANTUCKET RED.  Pretty sure
    the entire county heard my heart break when I read this. But sometimes.  SOMETIMES, heart break has to happen before a person can
    experience the growth they need to turn them into the adult they are to become.  That's just what Cricket needed.  And as much as I love
    me some Zack Clayton, I love me some Cricket Thompson even more.

    Cricket blossoms in this installment of the duology and her transformation is one that hit me right in the spot that makes me go crazy
    over a book. I love her and I can't wait to share her story with my own teenagers.  She's the kind of heroine that you want to hold up and
    say "See! It's okay to make mistakes and not always choose the easiest path."  Being true to yourself is more important than, well,
    anything. 

    My policy of keeping reviews spoiler-free means that I can't share with you my favorite part of this book. I'll be cryptic and say that
    relationships with boys aren't always the most important part of a girls life.  Sometimes it's her friends that matter most. <3

    You know, there's just enough time left of this summer to pick up this series.  I encourage you, no wait. I INSIST that end your summer
    on a high note and read this series today.  It's a series that deserves so much more attention that it's getting.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

       I wanted to read Nantucket Red because I really enjoyed the s

       I wanted to read Nantucket Red because I really enjoyed the summer feel of Nantucket Blue. But not only did it have the fun and free feeling, there was also a romance I enjoyed, the tension with her friend, the loss of friend's mom, as well as Cricket having to work hard and how she grew as a result of her summer in this high end community. 
       When Nantucket Red started, we got to see Cricket at home, in her groove with the private school, an athlete as well as trying to still navigate the waters with Jules since their fights and tension the previous summer, and the fact that she was dating Jules' little brother Zack. They were so good together, but unfortunately distance and the time apart put a huge strain on their relationship. We had to see him with another girl, and the shaky ground of one person wanting one thing and the other another. I was still cheering for them, just wanted to get rid of Parker first, because I hate the cheating. They had such tender times and hot make out sessions as well as the shared history, since Cricket was with Jules so much and an honorary member of the family. 
         Cricket is accepted at Brown, and she ends up back in Nantucket trying to gain enough money, since her grandparents offered to match the money she made and help her actually be able to have the full college experience with dorms, eating on campus and feeling of freedom instead of living at home. Cricket meets up with her roomie from last summer and gets a job waitressing, which challenged her in ways that she didn't expect, and pairs her with Amy, another waitress who trained her and also seems to dislike her and not want to be around her. There is a weird tension between her, Cricket and guitar bartender guy that Cricket talked to on the ferry. I had my eye still on Zack, so even though they had the banter and teasing and a seed of possibility, the way that he only talked to her when Amy wasn't there had me wondering what was going on. I don't know though why I was holding out for Zack, because of who he started dating. I get that the pause button on their relationship didn't really work, and that teen relationships are dysfunctional and people make bad decisions, but I think he has a good heart and she loves him, so I guess there you have it. 
        So weird love situation aside, I do think that it worked out for the best and that it was pretty obvious where it was going after the book got going. I am happy with how things ended, not neatly wrapped, but laced with hope and possibilities as well as with their history, attraction and chemistry to fuel things along. 
        Nantucket caught my attention, I enjoyed Cricket, and watching her grow. She had to make some hard decisions as well as deal with a bunch of no fun stuff that not all teens have to. She all of the sudden felt so alone with the weird rift that is only semi healed at this point between her and Jules. She is learning to try and accept how things are and make the best out of what can be done or changed. 
        Her summer, and ultimately the ending of this book really shows that there isn't one right answer for everything and life isn't one size fits all. I love that Cricket is so passionate and how she fights so hard for the things that she wants. But she is also woman enough to admit when she has been wrong and work to change it. She grew so much more even in this book, and I loved watching her grow into a young adult making her own choices and way in life. 
         It was a fun read, with just the right amount of emotion, and drama to keep the plot going. I finished it in a day and would have done a one sitting if time would have allowed. 
       




    Bottom Line: Another summer with Cricket and even more character development. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 1, 2014

    Nantucket Red is the second book in the Nanucket series by Leila

    Nantucket Red is the second book in the Nanucket series by Leila Howland, a fun, fresh and addictive contemporary romance read.




    We catch up with Cricket, home from her previous Summer at Nantucket and ready to tackle life at Brown University, after a misunderstanding where she asks Zack if they could put a pause on their relationship she soon discovers that Zack  the brother of her best-friend Jules is dating Parker, a mean girl who has known both Jules and Zack from their many years spent together on Nantucket during Summer.




    Heartbroken at the loss, she makes her way back to Nantucket to raise the money she'll need to stay in the dorms at University, she soon makes the acquaintance of Ben, a bartender at Breezes where she has scored herself a job as a waitress, they find they are kindred souls as they have both recently ended relationships, but Cricket finds herself struggling to let go of her first love and it doesn't get any easier when she realises that Zack is on the island with Parker and she tries her best to avoid them as much as possible.




    With her friend Lisa suffering from relationship woes as well and falling into a state of depression, Cricket finds herself running the inn as well as waitressing, exhausted with no days off she makes the mistake of letting her hair down and getting drunk, and making a mistake that will jeopardise her place at Brown University, Cricket comes to realise that what she thought she wanted may not be what she actually wants after all.




    I really enjoyed this sequel, it was just as good as the first book Nantucket Blue, I enjoyed catching up with all of these characters and this book wrapped the series up perfectly, I'll definitely be on the lookout for future releases from Leila, I thoroughly enjoyed her writing and I look forward to more books from her.

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  • Posted May 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I have to admit, I had some mixed thoughts going into this book.

    I have to admit, I had some mixed thoughts going into this book. I adored Nantucket Blue mostly because of Cricket and Zack and I was heartbroken to discover they were having relationship problems in this book. But, after finishing I'm totally going to eat my words and say this was damn near perfect. Nantucket Red was far more than a love story and the focus extended far beyond Cricket's relationship with Zack to become a great coming of age story in which Cricket truly finds her way in the world.

    When we begin Nantucket Red, Cricket and Zack are about to be separated as he goes off to college. They had an amazing summer together, despite the loss of his mom and the drama with her friendship with his sister. They fell in love and now they have a decision to make: stay together or breakup. Zack wants to have a long distance relationship. Cricket believes those never work, but she doesn't want to lose him completely either, so she offers up the idea of a "pause." No texts, no calls, no emails, no seeing each other on break. Until he returns for the summer, it's like neither exists to the other. You can see where this is going, right? Even at the time it was proposed I was screaming at them not to do it because I knew it wouldn't end well. Well, I hate to say "I told you so," but...

    When Zack returns for the summer, things are strained. He's treating her more like a friend than a girlfriend. It's then Cricket finds out the truth – during their ill-advised "pause," Zack found someone else. That someone else? Her enemy, Parker, the most unlikable character in the first book. I was sick to my stomach by this point, but I read on because I just had to know what would happen. Cricket's summer was far less than charming, for the most part. After she made one stupid mistake, the threads in her perfect life plan began to unravel and it was really difficult to read as she fell apart. She started a friendship (and flirtation) with a super hot bartending surfer named Ben, but just couldn't get past Zack.

    Friendships are a huge part of Nantucket Red, and they were one of my favorite things about the entire experience. Between Cricket and Jules finding a way to repair the one that was damaged last summer and Cricket's new, but no less amazing, friendship with Liz, all the bases were covered. I enjoyed watching the relationships between each of the characters grow. Everyone Cricket met and befriended that summer impacted her life in one way or another as she tried to put the pieces back together.

    Without running this risk of giving too much away, Cricket's crusade to finish Nina's "bucket list" was a highlight of this book. Not only did it help bring Cricket and Jules back together, it helped lead Cricket to become the young woman she was at the end of this book. It gave her courage and direction and helped her when she was more than a little bit lost.

    I can't say enough good things about this book. The characters were complex. The story flowed well and had a lot of substance. With a great mix of humor, heart and humility, Leila won me over completely with this series. The ending was left open enough that there could be another book and I really, really hope there is. I'd love to see Cricket's story deepen as she continues to find herself.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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