Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Series: Standalone
Published: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
304 pages (e-ARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

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.

Leila Howland has written a gem in the contemporary YA genre with her debut novel Nantucket Blue. Funny, heartbreaking, romantic, tense, and real, I fell in love with this book from the very first page.

Cricket was a very strong main character. She had a distinct voice, and I found myself relating to her easily. She and Jules were so close, she felt like part of the Clayton family, so when a member of that family died, she felt the grief in a very real way. As someone who has experienced grief, it rang very true for me, and my heart broke for Cricket. She learned a lot about herself that summer, as well as about family, friendship, and love. There were some hard lessons to be learned, and while she was scared and didn’t think she had the strength for some things, she surprised herself, and I loved watching her grow.

After the death in her family, Jules becomes a different person. Even though I was angry at the way she treated Cricket, part of me understood. Nothing about grief makes sense, and everyone grieves differently. I wondered if and how Cricket and Jules would make their way back to each other, or if it would be one of those friendships that you look back on fondly but that can never be repaired. I loved the way Cricket talked about her past with Jules and what they meant to each other. It was beautiful and genuine and made me alternately laugh and cry because I’ve had friendships like those. While at times it made me sad, I appreciated that there were no easy solutions, and that things weren’t always sunshine and roses.

I thought the romance was pretty much perfect. It wasn’t the main focus of the story, but I enjoyed the slow burn of it, the butterflies and uncertainty, the sweetness of it all, but also how sexy it was at times. Cricket and her love interest (no spoilers here!) complimented each other nicely and balanced each other out. I loved their scenes together and always looked forward to more.

Leila Howland has a way with words. This book was so beautifully written. I often found myself rereading certain passages because they were so lovely - descriptions of people or places or things, epiphanies Cricket had - it was all so well written, and it pulled at my heartstrings. Ms Howland also did a terrific job with the secondary characters. I love when secondary characters are really fleshed out and come to life, and Howland succeeded in doing that with Cricket’s family and friends.

While the ending was a bit abrupt and felt slightly incomplete, it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. I felt like I knew the characters well enough that I could draw my own conclusions and imagine a future for each of them. I also thought maybe we’ll be lucky and there will be a sequel or companion (from Jules’s perspective perhaps?) and we’ll get to see these characters again! *hint hint Leila Howland!*

Nantucket Blue is the perfect summer beach read (or any time read) for anyone looking for a story with romance, self-discovery, and emotional depth. It’s an honest look at friendship, family, grief, and first love, as well as following your heart. This is one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2013, and I can’t wait to see what Leila Howland comes up with next.

*I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands.*

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.

Find Leila online: {Blog || Twitter}

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Have you read Nantucket Blue? What did you think? What are some of your favourite beach reads?



  1. I've had this one on my tbr for a while. I can't wait to read it!

  2. Sounds very good.
    Theresa N

  3. AHH. Well you DID say you liked this one. But when you mentioned the writing, and how you re-read passages. *swoon* And that Cricket is a strong character, and how good the romance is. I REALLY cannot wait to read this one.

  4. This is a really great review. You captured my interest and didn't spoil anything. Now I'm so curious.

  5. Hi Marie! I can see you did love this as much as I did. I had more issues with Jules than you did but we'll see if she redeems herself in the next one. Wasn't the dad just awful?!! I didn't like the mom at first either but she grew on me. Great review! :)


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