Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Release Date: May 7, 2013 
Publisher: Disney Hyperion 
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley 
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 regret reading Nantucket Blue on a rainy, cold March day. Everything about this book made me pine for the summer. Nantucket Blue was a book I wanted to read at the beach with a glass of lemonade (actually ice cold Coke, but lemonade is more summer-y, right?), having a view of the gorgeous ocean. I have never spent my summers in the Northeast coast (only the South) but this book made me want to get on a plane as soon as the summer begins and head to Nantucket. While I am very much a character girl, the setting is the real gem of Nantucket Blue but Leila Howland wrote a story where every aspect worked well together for the most part.

Lets talk about Cricket, our main character. I have to admit that I liked Cricket. Cricket was the bigger person in this situation and after Jules went through a family tragedy, Cricket gave her space. She let Jules breathe and come to terms with what happened and I respected Cricket for that. When her planes for Nantucket fall through, Cricket didn’t give up. Instead of sulking and complaining like I would, Cricket held up her head and fended for herself. Along the way, Cricket did grow as a character and she learned more about herself than she could have imagined but the growth wasn’t in large amounts. For one, a certain incident that happened with a certain guy made me shake my head. I think Cricket had a good enough head on her shoulders to not let that happen.

As much as I liked the characters, the setting was the best part of this novel. Nantucket was described in such a way that I felt like I was there in the Atlantic Northeast, feeling the ocean breeze. It was absolutely fantastic and again, the descriptions made me want to skip right over spring and get to summer. I have this love for small resort towns and Nantucket reminded me of Colby, the resort town many of Sarah Dessen’s books are set in. Nantucket is real and Colby is not but if you’ve read a Dessen novel, Colby is the pace you want to be for the summer. With small diners and restaurants and quirky natives, Nantucket Blue came alive, almost as if it were a character itself.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of having too many issues or stories strung together in one book. Very rarely does this work in favor of the book and some how, Leila Howland did exactly that. There were many different plotlines featured in Nantucket Blue that were executed well but not very well because Leila Howland didn’t connect everything to an “ending.” Until I realized how realistic it was. The ending did have loose ends but they were believable. Like in real life, people are not able to change or accept an issue in a matter of days and in Nantucket Blue, the ending did just that.

I hate to admit this but I did have issues with Nantucket Blue. For one, a lot of the issues featured were superficial and not as developed as I’d have liked. As much as I love romance, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance in this one. Sure I liked the love interest but I didn’t feel like I was given enough background on the love interest and his relationship with Cricket prior to where the book began to actually believe in their romance. And as much as Cricket developed as a character, none of the other side characters did. Sure I got to know them on the surface, there wasn’t more to them. These little aspects put together are the only reasons why this book is getting a 3.5 star.

Overall, Nantucket Blue is a book I recommend to read at the beach, when you’re looking for pure entertainment. While the character and plot will make you happy, the description will make you want to abandon anything and everything and go to Nantucket.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: A cute, fun looking cover!
Comments: Okay, this is a very cliched cover and all but I like it. I know. Superficial cover and I like it? I think it fits with the book very well and sets up most of the plot very well. Of course there is more to the book itself but if I needed a fun, light, beach read? This would be it.