In sticking with my craving for contemporary summer reads, I decided to pick up Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red by Leila Howland on a recent shopping trip to The Strand with Sara. I hadn’t ever heard of the books until I read about the main character Cricket on Brittany’s blog, The Book Addict’s Guide. The cover basically screams beach read so as soon as I saw it I knew I needed it. I have not yet read the second book, but I am planning on doing so VERY soon. Nantucket Blue is about a pair of best friends, Cricket and Jules, and their plan for the best summer ever in a tiny New England town called Nantucket. Jules vacations on Nantucket every summer but Cricket has never been able to share the same experience until Jules invites her to spend the summer with her family. Everything about Nantucket is so romanticized by Cricket before she arrives but things don’t go exactly as planned.
After a tragic event occurs, there is a LOT of tension between Cricket and her best friend Jules and it threatens to ruin their perfect summer. I loved that the majority of Cricket’s actions are driven by her friendship to Jules even when Jules is not treating her the way a friend should. It’s actually a really mature way for a teen to act and react to their circumstances which is why I grew so fond of Cricket. I’m very interested in seeing how Cricket and Jules’ relationship plays out in the second book. It’s really challenging not to be spoilery in this section so I’m just going to end this paragraph right here!
I also just adored the romance aspect of Nantucket Blue. Not only between Cricket and her beau, but also the romance of Nantucket itself. It seems like such a wonderful place to vacation! I could almost taste the croissants and coffee while I walked down the blocks of overpriced shops a short distance from the beach. I breezed through Nantucket Blue in just over a day because of how enjoyable the characters are and how dreamy the scene is painted by Howland. I really cannot wait to dive into the following book and find out what’s going on in everyone’s lives!
Final Thoughts: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland is the perfect contemporary beach read. I read through the story very quickly because I couldn’t get enough of the characters or the setting on the beautiful island of Nantucket. Cricket is a mature teen and it is a pleasure to spend time in her head while she works out everything that’s been thrown at her during the summer.
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. (via Goodreads)