Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

* * * 1/2

Available May 7th, 2013

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.

It's the cover that sold me on this book. I mean, look at the gorgeous blue ocean! And hey, rolling around on the sand with a hottie can be fun too. Who wouldn't want a getaway like that?

Cricket's dream summer isn't exactly getting off right when she arrives on the island and her best friend Jules is less than enthusiastic about her being there followed by her crush rejecting her. The adversity she faces here and learns to overcome are relevant to this particular time in a teenager’s life. Your friends are everything. Your longstanding crush is your constant obsession. So what does she do? She decides to stay low, give them space and come up with Plan B. This is what I like about Cricket. She may be hurt, confused and at a loss about why her friend has become a major pain but she hangs in there without giving up hope. Knowing that Jules is going through a rough time and that no matter what, she wants to be there for her, Cricket makes the most of the uncomfortable situation to open herself up to new experiences.

Since the invitation  to stay with Jules is off the table, she ends up working at a bed and breakfast where she befriends a fellow “chambermaid”, Liz and becomes an intern for a writer who’s working on the biography of a local celebrity politician. I have to give her kudos for making the most out of things and not just throwing in the towel to run back home because things turned upside down. She uses this time away from her divorced parents to figure herself out. And it’s during this time that an unlikely bond develops between her and someone else that changes her outlook on things but that could also complicate the friendship she's trying to repair.

I won’t go into any more details because to be honest, I simply enjoyed how this story unfolded and I hope that you do too once you read it. It’s not a story with a mind-blowing ending but it has plenty of merits. While most teenagers would be utterly devastated that their best friend isn’t speaking to them or is purposefully shunning them, Cricket puts on a brave face and goes about her business. Though I realize that would be rather difficult to accomplish in the real world, her attitude is something to aspire to. Which is why I stayed up late to finish this book in one sitting – sleep be damned!

Nantucket Blue is simply delightful and it's a nice reminder that sometimes when things don’t exactly go your way, may be it’s because something better is going to happen.

~ Bel

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