Daily Archives: March 24, 2014

Nantucket Red – Leila Howland

Nantucket Red
By Leila Howland
Nantucket – Book 2
Available May 2014

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.

This Blonde’s Review:
In the first book in this series we see Cricket have to stand on her own without her best friend or the family she has adopted as her own. She has to find her own way, fall in love with the wrong guy, and deal with her parents in ways she never had before. In the second book she’s moving on from losing her boyfriend and has been alone. She got into a great school but now she has to find the money to afford the real experience of living in the dorms instead of at home. That means going back to Nantucket.

In this one we see Cricket growing up and becoming more confident in the life that she has built on her own. She builds more relationships with the people around her, she starts repairing her relationship with her best friend, and learning how to be around Zack again. When everything Cricket has worked for looks like it could be lost thanks to a bad decision she has to figure out how to make the best of everything and learn something about herself at the same time.

I really enjoyed this one. I think I may have even liked it better than the first book. In this one Cricket is more confident and she’s taking chances she would have been afraid to take in the first book. Watching her grow and realize what she wants and what is best for her was really great. She wasn’t the same person in the same place, she was someone new. I felt like she ended this book a much stronger person than she would have been if she never went through everything that she did.

If you’ve read the first book you won’t be disappointed by the changes in Cricket’s character. You’ll probably find you like her better now. If haven’t read the first book but enjoy books about characters who have to learn who they really are when they’re set adrift without the people who matter to them then you’ll want to read Cricket’s story.