Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nantucket Red: The Dreamy Island Returns

Title: Nantucket Red
Author: Leila Howland
Series: Nantucket #2
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Format: ARC
Genre: YA; Romance; Contemporary
Rating: ✎✎✎✎

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.

Thoughts and Reflections:
*May Contain spoilers for Nantucket Blue
I'm not sure why the blurb is so long, there isn't much going on in this book.
I read Nantucket Blue earlier this year and it just didn't do it for me.  I thought that Cricket was foolish and whiny and made awful mistakes that were boring to read about.  However, when a friend gave me this ARC I figured that I might as well try it out, and I'm glad that I did.
Although the blurb seems to suggest otherwise, the first part of the book follows Cricket through her senior year in high school, which to say was relatively uneventful despite some boyfriend drama.  When summer arrives and Cricket heads to Nantucket the book's pace begins to pick up and lots of fun occurs.
Cricket makes some new friends, reconnects with the old, and has a much more exciting summer then the last.  I felt much more connected to Cricket throughout all of her shenanigans.  While she was still foolish, she was less whiny and the tiniest bit more grown up.
I got frustrated at the end of the book, however, when Cricket makes a mistake that could permanently change her life she does everything that she can to get that life back, but then she questions her actions?  What????  That was the only time in the book that I found myself comparing her to the old wishy washy Cricket.
There was a lot more side character development in this book that I was excited to see because that differed from the Cricket centered book that was Nantucket Blue.  Howland spent more time fleshing out the other characters lives as well and that made the overall book more balanced.

While this is still a fluffy summer read, I'd recommend it.  Honestly, you could probably read it without having read Nantucket Blue and that would most likely be more enjoyable.

Dust Jacket Rablings:
I love this cover.  I think it encompasses the story very well and is visually appealing.  I'm not usually a fan of models on covers but the fact that there are no faces makes me not hate this cover.

*I did hate the cover for Nantucket Blue:

It is more sleazy, you can see their faces, (and some boobage).  It gives the impression that this book was about sex, when it wasn't.  Thumbs down on this one.

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