The Perfect Shade of Summer: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Perfect Summer Read
Nantucket Blue
by Leila Howland
Genre: Young Adult contemporary
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: May 7th 2013
Source: e-galley from publisher
Author's website | 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.
I don't know how to describe the intense love-hate relationship I had with Nantucket Blue. The plot of the book was so simple, perfect for a quick summer read. The writing style was uncomplicated and the characters were ordinary  However, there was something about this book that slowly captured my full attention.

Cricket Thompson is probably the most realistic young adult protagonist that I have ever come across. She had a lot of flaws; she was heavily reliant on other people and thought too much about the opinions of others, and she let other people walk all over her without defending herself. Cricket was overly attached to her friend Jules to the point that she refused to realize the way Jules was mistreating her and made excuses for Jules' actions to reassure herself. She was very stubborn and refused to face the hard truths in life.

The relationships portrayed in Nantucket Blue were also very believable. The bases of old relationships were clearly portrayed and the process of how new relationships were formed was very intricate and gave the readers a play-by-play of it all without being too over detailed. The 'friendship' between Cricket and Jules was complicated and messy and I think that they just used each other without knowing it. The romance in the book was predictable but still extremely cute and sweet, as how any summer romance should be.

What I liked is that even though Cricket denied her flaws so much, they were so evident in the book because of little tidbits that were seamlessly weaved into the story and the dialogue. It was so easy to get annoyed at Cricket because of the decisions she made but you can really see her growth as the story progresses. The Cricket Thompson who went to Nantucket to chase her summer dreams became a different person at the end of the summer, and that, I think, is what's important.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the supporting characters and the subplots in the book. Nantucket Blue isn't just a story about Cricket's summer, it is about the summer of an incredibly diverse set of people who eventually find themselves connected to one another. Strangers, old friends, and family members played a huge role in Nantucket Blue and helped Cricket discover her capabilities and self-confidence.

The beauty of Nantucket Blue, I think, is in the sheer simplicity of it. The book was written in a beautiful yet unpretentious and simple prose that somehow brought life to every word. A reader could easily visualize the things Cricket was seeing, showing us the true glory of Nantucket through words. The dialogue was, again, so simple, but was incredibly raw and transparent. Every kind of emotion and vulnerability was thrown at me through thoughts and expressions and body languages, and the entire experience was surreal

Leila Howland wrote a beautiful coming of age book that resonated with the allure of a masterful contemporary: bold, honest, real, and speaks to the heart. It did not end on a high part; the book sort of fell flat somewhere towards the ending and a lot of problems were unresolved, but it did not matter. It didn't matter because that's the way life really goes; love, death, drama, fear, and hope. There are some things that we cannot take back, but there is always hope. Cricket started to believe in herself and she started to hope, and she made me believe and hope along with her.

THE NUB AND GIST: 3.5 STARS


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7 comments

  1. I was supposed to read this book last night but got sidetracked and read Hysteria by Megan Miranda instead. Based on your review I think I won't like it but I 'll try anyway :)

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  2. I feel that the portrayal of relationships in contemporaries are among the most important things, so I'm glad that the author did a good job about that in Nantucket Blue. I also find it stunning how just simple prose could bring the book to life. I know I haven't read many books like that! Originally, I wasn't too interested in this, but your review has definitely got me interested. :) Great review!

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  3. I've wanted to read this book and your review made me more sure of that! I'm fine with quick summer reads but uhh Cricket sounds a little annoying but the whole story sounds so uncomplicated and sweet that I can't help but be curious about Cricket and Jules' relationship!

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

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  4. This really looks like a nice summer read and I think I should get a copy for my vacation. Thanks for your honest review:)

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  5. Thanks for the great review. I have this one to read to.

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  6. Well, I definitely wanna read this book. Based on your review, I think it is my kind of read, but I am not sure whether I will read it or not
    GREAT review, though
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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