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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Nantucket Blue (Goodreads)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Source: Publisher
Publication Date:07 May 2013
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 1423160517
Format: Ebook (ARC)
Pages: 304

The authors on the web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Providence, Rhode Island // Nantucket, Massachusetts

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First Line: Even without Holly Howard and Dori Archer, who’d been suspended for drinking on campus, we were supposed to win that game.

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland had the potential to be a great summer read but in the end it was just a meh book for me. While there are things I liked there were lots that just annoyed me (some more than they should have.) First off, lets talk setting. Nantucket Blue starts in Providence, Rhode Island which thrilled and struck fear into my heart. You see, I am a Rhode Islander born and bread. I know Providence well and its outskirts better. Especially one area of the book that was mentioned, Bristol, which is where I went to high school. 

So that brings me to nitpick number 1. Rhode Islanders tend to be distance phobic. We don’t just hop of a bike and ride 15+ miles (1.5-2hrs) from Providence to Bristol to grab coffee and check out antiques. Especially if you are a teenager. Oh I liked antique stores when I was a teen but I’d go to the ones in my town when I happened to be near them I would travel 15 miles for one. Not that I’ve never made that trip. I have, but it took planning and it was never determined on a whim. So that part of the novel, while such a minor thing to most readers, just made my eye twitch. Though I did love the reference to Del’s Lemonade. Del’s is an institution in Rhode Island and its just wasn’t summer until you heard the first Del’s Lemonade truck roll through your neighborhood. 
There were also times when it felt like a character was cut out and then merged with another, the one who became Zach. Zach was supposed to be around 15/16 years old but he never felt that young he always seemed so much older like he was in college. And Cricket, well there were times when she definitely acted like she was a young teen and not a high school senior. But she always felt complete and real. While Zach seemed to have a split personality. This made it hard to connect with him for much of the book. Though when I could I found his character to be sweet and I really pulled for him and Cricket. 
I really disliked Cricket’s so-called best friend, Jules, wow what a b#$*!! She so mean to Cricket throughout much of this book and yet Cricket still wanted to follow her around like a puppy. Often, creepily so. Cricket was a borderline stalker and I wonder if maybe she started to hang out with Zach because he was Jule’s brother and as such was a connection to her. Nantucket Blue is supposed to be about this great friendship between Cricket and Jules but I’d never want a friend like Jules and neither should Cricket. Jules is not a good person and I know she’s dealing with some issues but that doesn’t excuse her behavior. I also had some issues with Cricket’s parents. But I won’t get into that here as I don’t want to spend this whole review on what I didn’t like.
Now, it might seem like I hated this book but I didn’t. I didn’t love it but it was a really quick read and its a good beach read. Its a book that doesn’t require much thought and you can just spend a couple of hours lost on an island paradise. This story made me want to hop of a ferry and head off to Nantucket to explore that island. Growing up we went to Martha’s Vineyard or Block Island so I’ve never been there but now I want to go. Maybe I’ll be able to find some time this summer to do so. This book isn’t anything super special. Its not one that I want to re-read over and over but I don’t feel as though I wasted my time on it. Its flawed but I felt that the writing held promise and I look forward to Howland’s next book.

One Response to “Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland”

  1. Vivien

    I’ve been wanting to read this one since I first saw the cover. I keep reading middle of the road reviews, which is slightly disappointing to hear. But I’ve been on such a contemporary kick, that it may just hit the spot.