Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.
First, I have to say, I was so excited to read this book that I started it the day we got on our cruise ship. But apparently I hadn't fully read the summary because about...20 or so pages in, that devastating tragedy occurs and I was blindsided. And I was bawling! Okay, maybe not bawling. But definitely crying. I mean, here I am on this cruise ship and expecting a fun, summer story, and then I was hit with that. Sad, sad.
What I Liked: 1) Cricket. I thought Cricket was a very well-written and well-developed main character. She was funny, personable, and I appreciated her spunk. She knew what she wanted to do, and took the initiative to find a way to get it done. There were a few things she did that felt a little out of character, but for the most part she was very...strong. Girl power. All that stuff. 2) I also liked how both MC Cricket and author Leila Howland took the time to explore the way relationships were changing over the summer Cricket spent in Nantucket. Sometimes in books authors and characters blow past what is going on internally with an MC when relationships, especially friendships change (I think the internal or emotional stuff is never ignored with a guy dumps the MC) and Miz Howland didn't miss that opportunity. She even gave Cricket the opportunity to search out some of the psychological reasons her friendship with Jules has changed, and used that to develop friendships with other people. 3) There was a lot of depth to this book. When it begins with such a tragedy, I assumed there would be, but it wasn't all what I was expecting (because I was expecting a fluffy beach read - that will teach me to read the entire summary before making conclusions!) I loved how emotional and poignant parts of the story were, but at the same time I didn't feel weighted down from so much heavy emotion. 4) Liz. I'd say Liz was the comic relief of the story. She's got this personality that's so great and funny. She's not taking any crap from anyone, but when she cares about something she will protect it fiercely. That's how she came across to me. She was definitely the breath of fresh air in Cricket's life. 5) I also came to really like Zach. I won't go into too much detail about him, but he is Jules's younger brother and helps Cricket deal with how her friendship with Jules, and really her relationship with their entire family, has changed. He was very mature for his age, and really just a big sweetheart. I still kind of view him as a younger brother, so I didn't feel that "oh, he's my next book boyfriend" vibe about him, but I still think he was a sweetie.
What I Didn't Like: It's hard to read about a friendship that seemed as strong as Jules' and Cricket's fall apart - but it made for a great book. So no complaints here.
Overall Thoughts: So, Nantucket Blue - not really a beach read. Too emotional for that. But it does deserve a spot on your bookshelf if you are interested in reading some powerful writing, some great character development, and a plot that, despite not being full of action, is completely gripping from beginning to end. In a lot of ways, the story itself reminded me of the Nantucket that Miz Howland created - the different atmospheres of the island nicely mirrored the ebbs and flows of the plot. That was a great detail that I rarely find. I definitely recommend Nantucket Blue to contemp fic readers, but have your tissues handy!
My Rating: 5 shots
Just a few more days to enter my giveaway for a copy of Myra McEntire's newest release, Infinityglass! Enter to win here!