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.
This is a good, light, fun, romantic summer read. The setting is definitely one of the highlights, and following Cricket around makes you feel like you’ve living the island life. I enjoyed Cricket’s character and I was interested in what was going to happen between her and Zach, Jules, Amy, and Ben, the Guitar Guy. It’s quick and easy to get into and I do recommend it for anyone who’s ready to ditch school and head to the beach.
However, this is not a stand alone book. Not having read Nantucket Blue, the first in the series, I could not follow a lot of the characters and their relationship to Cricket. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions because the characters where not explained. There are a lot of characters in the book as well, so I will definitely have the read Nantucket Blue now. So, before you pack up your summer books, please include this and it’s prequel, otherwise you’ll be totally lost like I was.
Main questions for me: Why did Cricket have to choose Zach or Jules? She doesn’t seem that interested in either of them if she willingly pushed both of them away. And is Jules Zach’s sister? Why would Nina (Jules’s mother?) have such an impact on Cricket?
I looked up some information on Goodreads to try and catch up with the story, so it is definitely not something you can dive into without having read Nantucket Blue.
The covers are very intriguing and the setting, again, is beautiful. I was a bit put off by how much the word “Nantucket” is used – sometimes twice on one page and for a while it was on every page. I honestly don’t know anything about Nantucket (I had to look it up on Wikipedia), so a lot of the references to the name itself fell flat with me. Some scenes also just seemed to have stuff going on that was either confusing or unimportant to the story. But, again, it’s an entertaining book and the more I read, the more I was curious how Cricket’s life would turn out. I really do love the time frame that Cricket is telling the story. It’s interesting to see her transfer from a high school senior to a college freshman with new people and new problems to deal with.
About the Author:
LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel. Visit her online at www.leilahowland.com and at http://twitter.com/leilahowland.
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