Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Nantucket Red (Nantucket, #2) 
Nantucket Red (Nantucket #2) by Leila Howland
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

Publishes in US: May 13th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Disney Hyperion
Series? Nantucket #2

Buy it: Indiebound

Author stalk away: site   twitter  blog

    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.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you have a summer destination?
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  1. Thanks for such a concise review of what sounds like a book that has lots to offer aside from the obvious romance.

  2. Yes, there was the character growth aspect

  3. Oh this is a sequel? I just found out.. I think I'll check out the first book cause you really seemed to like this one :)

  4. Andrea @The Bookish BabeMay 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    I definitely need to start this series! Thanks for the review, Brandi!

  5. Bookworm BrandeeMay 13, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    I'm really curious about this series, Brandi. I like how realistic it sounds - the experiences and decision-making a young adult faces at this age. Lovely review!

  6. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this but I'm sad to see that the love situation with Zack is so complicated. I was hoping for more for those two. Still excited to read it—lovely review!


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