Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Be sure to check out all the stops on the Nantucket Red Blog Tour

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland
Series: Nantucket #2
Published: May 13th, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
288 pages (e-ARC)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Book Depository || Chapters/Indigo}
  {Read my review of Nantucket Blue}

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.

Whenever I find out a book I truly loved is getting a sequel, I’m equal parts excited and wary. I adored Nantucket Blue, and hoped Ms Howland would write a sequel. I figured if she did write one, it would be from Jules’s perspective, since she seemed to have a story of her own to tell. When I found out my hunch about a sequel was right, but that it would continue from Cricket’s perspective, I was thrilled, but I’ll admit to being slightly worried. I was afraid Nantucket Red wouldn’t live up to Nantucket Blue, a book that broke my heart and stitched it back together again and made me swoon repeatedly.

I didn’t need to worry. Simply put, Nantucket Red was incredible. It was great to reconnect with Cricket, Jules, Zack, and Liz, and meet a variety of new, equally memorable characters. These characters were so real, I felt like I was right there with them, experiencing their triumphs, heartache, and mishaps.

There was so much to love about Nantucket Red. Besides wonderfully complex characters who experienced a lot of growth, the writing was fantastic, the setting was rich, and there was so much humour, romance, and heart. There were moments that had me laughing myself silly, moments where my heart broke, moments that made my heart soar, and moments of pure pleasure where I couldn’t stop smiling. I’ll admit to ugly crying toward the end - not because anything sad happened, but because I was so damn proud of these characters and their growth, and I was sad to say goodbye to them.

Cricket had some really tough life lessons to learn through the course of Nantucket Red - lessons about love, heartbreak, family and friends, and the sometimes-terrifying real life stuff that comes after graduating high school. I connected with her story so much because it felt so authentic. Cricket always knew what she wanted to do in life, she had goals, and she worked hard. I admired her so much for that. But when things became unclear and she had moments of doubt about a future that had always been certain, I wanted to hug her tight, and I always wanted to hug Ms Howland for creating a character like Cricket, who experienced the ups and downs, uncertainties, and fears that often come along with that time in a person's life. I kept thinking 'YES, this is real life, this is what it’s all about, it’s messy and frightening and you don’t always have the answers'.

There’s so much more I could say about Nantucket Red. I could gush for hours. It all comes down to one thing, though: read this book. This is contemporary YA/NA at its finest. It’s honest and real and funny and sweet and beautiful. These characters and their stories have a very special place in my heart, and they won’t soon be forgotten.


Leila Howland was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. 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.  Nantucket Blue, for which she was named a Publisher's Weekly Flying Start Author,  was her first novel. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs.

Find Leila Online

Have you read Nantucket Blue or Nantucket Red? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to?

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting Ramblings of a Daydreamer! I love hearing what you have to say, and I appreciate every single comment. I hope to see you here again soon! ♥

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