Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Author: Leila Howland
Title: Nantucket Blue
Release: May 7, 2013
Reviewer: Mona Leigh
Purchase: | Book Depository
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.
Nantucket Blue is one of those stories that stays with you long after you finish it. Call it a coming of age story or call it a teen romance, the characters and events will strike a chord with nearly every female.
Cricket Thompson’s parents are divorced and they seem to have forgotten all about her. In order to fill that gaping hole where family should have been Cricket adopts her best friend Jules’s family. Everything’s great. Cricket and Jules share everything, and Jules’s mom, Nina is like a second mother to Cricket.
Every summer, Cricket babysits while everyone else goes to The Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket and has fun. This summer, she’ll turn eighteen and she really wants to be like everyone else for a change, so when Nina invites her to Nantucket, she’s ecstatic. But her joy is cut short when Nina’s found dead in her hotel room in New York during a shopping trip. Suddenly, Jules is shutting her out of her life and Cricket is uninvited for the summer.
Determined to go to Nantucket to be there for Jules, Cricket finds a job and gets permission from her mom to go, but when she gets there, the job falls through. She’s almost ready to give up and go home when a job as a chambermaid at an inn falls in her lap. But despite her good intentions, she soon learns that Jules no longer wants anything to do with her, and she has no idea why.
The story follows Cricket as she uncovers the secrets of those around her, learns humility, finds the determination to carry on despite adversity, and eventually falls in love, but nearly blows it by sheer bad luck and inexperience. After inadvertently picking up a book that contains her mom’s teen diary, she learns more about her mother than she ever wanted to know, but she also learns about love and heartbreak.
Ms. Howland manages to capture the angst and hope and torment that all teens experience. While the names and places may change, the drama remains the same, and you’ll relieve your own youth page by page.