Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
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.
Publishes in US: May 7th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Disney Hyperion for review
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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."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.
"Parker can't even see the wall. That is the whole point."
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.
Books similar to Nantucket Blue: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever had a friend change so drastically that you feel you don't know them anymore?