Nantucket Blue

Nantucket Blue

3.77 (5,059 ratings by Goodreads)
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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. "[Howland] evokes the Nantucket setting vividly . . . when it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it's more fun to get pushed over by a wave than to stay safely on your towel."
-The New York Times
*"Readers should feel empowered by Cricket's efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too."-Publishers Weekly, starred review "Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut."--Boston Globe
"Utterly romantic and fun. I didn't want Nantucket Blue to end."
-New York Times best-selling author Jenny Han
"Several elements in this novel make it a little more than just another summer romance. Cricket's struggle to define herself apart from Jules, her decision to follow her heart, and her realization that she can rise above her parents' divorce make this a story that many teens will find absorbing."--VOYAIt's going to be the perfect summer for Providence teenager Cricket Thompson. She'll live with her friend Jules' family in their Nantucket house and pursue Jay Logan, the boy of her dreams. But tragedy strikes Jules' life and everything changes, including their friendship. Cricket does end up on Nantucket, but living in the inn where she works long, hard hours. To her surprise, she falls in love with entirely the wrong person - and learns how magical love can be. A rich satisfying novel for high school students (and older).--Providence Journal"Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket's open appeal. Readers will root for her as she falls down, takes her lumps, and moves forward to her final year in high school, always remembering what she learned under the Nantucket sun."--Library Journal
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 150 x 213 x 30mm | 454g
  • United States
  • English
  • 1423160517
  • 9781423160519
  • 1,061,287

Review quote

A summer-at-the-beach story takes readers to Nantucket. When 17-year-old Cricket is promised the chance to spend her summer on Nantucket at her best friend Jules Clayton's vacation home, she's psyched. In addition to lazy days at the beach, summer on Nantucket means the opportunity to connect with her longtime crush, Jay Logan. But when tragedy strikes the Clayton family, Cricket's summer invite is rescinded. Undeterred, Cricket hatches her own secret plans to stay on the island to support Jules, but upon arrival, her plans fall through, leaving her without a place to stay, no summer job and on the outs with Jules. In a stroke of good luck, Cricket lands on her feet, finding a less-than-glamorous job at an inn that serves as her base for a summer of unexpected adventures and new friendships. Though the book has an overall lighthearted summer vibe, Cricket's bumpy relationship with her divorced parents, especially her mother, and her fractured friendship with Jules ground the text, providing a welcome sense of reality in a tony island paradise. Cricket's narration vacillates between hyperbole and thoughtful introspection, making the text feel uneven in places; this reflects Cricket's development, as the narration matures along with Cricket. A solid beach read. (Fiction. 15-18) Kirkus"
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About Leila Howland

A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila Howland spent five years acting in New York in everything from an MTV public service announcement for safe sex to a John Guare play at Lincoln Center and was a proud company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. Currently, she teaches high school English and English as a second language in downtown Los Angeles and occasionally moonlights as an extra on the Young and the Restless. This is her first novel.
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Rating details

5,059 ratings
3.77 out of 5 stars
5 29% (1,457)
4 33% (1,678)
3 27% (1,367)
2 8% (397)
1 3% (160)

Our customer reviews

My Thoughts: So, I had seen Nantucket Red around the web, on WoW's and Wishlists and I knew I had to have it, too. When I was approved to review a copy, I researched it some more and knew I had to read book 1, Nantucket Blue, first. And, I found a copy of it for super cheap (thank you Amazon!) and snatched it up. I devoured this book. Due to my father being in and out of the hospital and finally into a rehab, it did take a little longer to read but Ms. Howland hooked me, hook-line-sinker, with this awesome book! I devoured it best I could as I was dealing with my father. Oh.My.Goodness. It was the perfect read for the spring-y weather we had over the weekend. I loved the story line, of happiness, sadness, anger and love. Cricket is a wonderfully chiseled character and getting to know her was a fabulous experience. And Zach.....well, let's just say "oh to be a teenager again.....". Swoon. Seriously. I loved him. My heart went out to him so many times through out the story, when death invaded and heartache ensued. The scenes of summer, and the emotionally moving friendships that grow, truly make for a wonderful, captivating read. I fell in love with Cricket, Zach and even Zach's sister Jules. Ms. Howland is a superbly talented author whose writing style is captivating and unique- a perfect blend of lovable characters, scenes that suck you in and sparks that fly with young love. I definitely recommend this novel to all those young adults, and adults who love young adult reads. The ending will leave you dying to find out what's next in Nantucket Red and I can't wait to dive into it! Well done, Ms. Howland on an incredible 4 star start to an incredibly addictive series!show more
by Reviews By Molly
'Nantucket Blue' was an enchanting coming-of-age novel that touched on some serious teenage issues, including teen sex and the loss of a loved one at an early age. Cricket was a girl who was looking forward to spending her summer vacation in Nantucket with her best friend, Jules, and her family, but then a tragedy strikes. There was something really appealing about Cricket as a character. She cared about people, possibly too much. She faced everyday issues and she was nice to everyone, whether they deserved it or not. She dealt with awkward situations bravely. I loved her burgeoning self-confidence and growth in this story. The secondary characters enhanced the brilliance of this novel and each one was special, even the ones who acted liked dimwits after certain things happened. There was only one character who I didn't get frustrated with because the tragedy that occurred can be dealt with in different ways and it can change a person. It can make them do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do. The love interest in this book was adorable. I really liked the differences in this romance compared with other romance stories I've read about. It was more interesting and infinitely more sweet. There was an uniqueness about it, and even though there were complications to the budding romance, it still remained lovely. It really touched the hopeless romantic in me. I enjoyed the writing style of 'Nantucket Blue' and the pace of the novel flowed well. There was also an enjoyable sub-plot happening in the novel, as well - particularly between Cricket and her mother. This book was a light and fun read - even with the tragedy that occurred. I would recommend this book to anyone. I think everyone will find something they like about the book, even if they don't absolutely love more
by Sandy Emerson
Characters- Cricket is such a lovable character. My heart went out to her right away even as I knew she was making mistakes. I understood her actions were coming from her heart but I could see from the reactions that they weren't seen that way. Cricket has had it tough in the parental department. Her parents are divorced. Her father remarried to a wife who has a difficult child, one she adopted from a Russian orphanage who has special needs. There is no time for her. Her mother is just depressed. And she'd love someone to wallow in her misery with her. The Claytons are her ideal family and she's over there all the time. But when tragedy strikes them, Jules Clayton, her best friend, cuts the ties that bound her to them and Cricket feels homeless. She's determined to live on Nantucket for the summer for numerous reasons, the biggest being that Jules will need her. I gave Cricket and A for effort. She has absolutely the biggest heart. She helps everyone, is afraid to have her own happiness for fear of hurting someone else. She's almost too good to be true, but she isn't an angel so hold onto your halo. She's just as vulnerable as the rest of us to corruption. But in a very fun way. Jules- Didn't like her. The End! You won't either. I dare anyone to tell me they did. Meet me on the playground. Zach- Jules' brother. Zach was like a breath of fresh air as far as guys in books go. He wasn't the hero to save the day. He wasn't pretending to be anything. He was just Jules' younger brother. He was funny and a familiar face when Cricket really needed one. He knew where to go and how to stay out of trouble and how to avoid people. Even the good beaches. So he was good for Cricket. Someone she'd known for a long time who didn't resent her relationship with his mother. There are a lot of secondary characters, plenty, and they all play important roles. Some are more developed than others like Cricket's mom, while Jay Logan, Cricket's crush since 8th grade is hardly known. But some of the secondary characters really bring Cricket's days to life and help fill in the story with some memorable scenes. There is even a Kennedy like family living on Nantucket. The world is Nantucket in summer. I don't think it gets much better than quaint little towns with expensive shops, incredible restaurants, little inns and bed and breakfasts, cobblestone streets and an island surrounded by white sandy beaches, sailboats and blue water. I'll take a house there please! Honestly you'll feel like you can walk the streets yourself. And you'll know the inn where Cricket gets a job and lives while she's on Nantucket. I can picture her little room so well. I see the beaches. And the uber rich homes on the beaches. Yeah, not hard to imagine at all. The story was fantastic! Cricket has to learn that the friend she thought she knew as well as herself has either changed or been only showing part of herself to her. She learns how to stand up for herself and what she wants. To fix her own mistakes and how to be okay with things when she can't change them. She makes a lot of mistakes. Boy does she! This could be called My Summer of Mistakes. She's either putting her foot in it or showing up where she's not wanted or some other faux pas. But it's never intentional. And that's why you'll love Cricket. Her heart is in the right place. And she's on her way to do the right thing when she gets waylaid by something. Or someone gets in her way. Or someone just mows her down. Truthfully, Cricket has much more of a backbone than I will ever have! You want character growth? Yes, a lot. And the ending, oh so painful, right to the very last words. This is for mature readers. Drinking, sexual situations and language. It is a sometimes painful coming of age story about growing up, moving on and finding love where you least expect more
by Heather Rosdol
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." "Parker is." "Parker can't even see the wall. That is the whole point." 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. 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. Bottom Line: Powerful and emotional but fun summer read about loss, love, and the hope of more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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