Nantucket Blue (Nantucket Blue Series #1)

Nantucket Blue (Nantucket Blue Series #1)

by Leila Howland


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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."


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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781423160519
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: 05/07/2013
Series: Nantucket Blue Series , #1
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About 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. Nantucket Blue is her first novel.

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Nantucket Blue 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
SheReadsThings More than 1 year ago
Nantucket Blue is one of the most beautifully written books that I've ever read. It rounds all the corners, touching base with friendship, family, grief, love, self-discovery, and everything more. And it's done in a non-cliche way, perfecting the art of saying a lot without annoying or offending anyone. In this book, Nantucket is a place that stays in the characters' hearts and souls for their entire lives. And in reality, this book has a place in my heart and soul, forever and ever. Seriously, it's truly fab. There's so much depth to the characters. Sometimes it seems like they only focus on the small things in life, but it's what they hide inside that makes this book explode with emotion. But really though, bring on the feels.  I loved Cricket. She's so sincere and kind, although she can also be naive, too. The way she took everything in stride was admirable and I really enjoyed seeing her discover herself. I was honestly a bit annoyed with Jules, though. I know she was going through a lot, but the way she shut Cricket out and the way she acted towards those she loved was just not okay. But still, their dynamic was something, alright. And Zack, well, that's another thing altogether. There really isn't much I can say about this book (other than it's awesome and amazing and beautiful and... well, the list goes on), because Nantucket Blue is a book that is all about the feels. (I wasn't kidding earlier.) This would be the perfect summer read, although it would be perfect any time of the year. Read this, read it ASAP, and you'll truly understand what the perfect shade of Nantucket blue is.  Review by Grace @ She Reads Things (
sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
'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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rockygirl1 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the "Rules of Summer" I decided to give this book a try because it was on my recommended list. I would have to say that this book was a lot better than the "Rules of Summer", though that book was still pretty good. I really like how Cricket (an odd name choice if I do say so myself) had a lot of struggles in this book, from her lacrosse game in the beginning and Nina's death, to her fight with her best friend, Jules, and Cricket's attraction to Jules' brother Zack. I also liked how Cricket was driven to work hard for what she wanted. It was clear early on in the book that she was not afraid to work for what she wanted. Jules really bothered me. She shouldn't have pushed her best friend away like that. I have to admire Cricket for repeatedly apologizing to Jules and trying to makw up with her. One last thing that I liked about Cricket was how she didn't let Nantucket and the rich people around her get under her skin and change who she is. The best part about this book was Cricket and Zack getting to know each other and eventually falling in love. All in all, this was a great book and I would definetely recommend it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the series!!! Its adoring!
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stephsco More than 1 year ago
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.
Brooke-The-Cover-Contessa More than 1 year ago
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
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
"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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DahlELama More than 1 year ago
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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HermosaBeachMom More than 1 year ago
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.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Dina-AllTheStacks More than 1 year ago
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
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
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.