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jenryland

jenryland

Nantucket Blue - Leila Howland After a tragedy in her best friend's family ruins Cricket's plans of summering with them in Nantucket, Cricket decides she'll make the summer happen on her own. Cricket was a character I didn't love at first, but she slowly grew on me. Her relationship with her best friend Jules was an unequal one, with Jules holding all the power and Cricket always feeling uncertain. And I while I felt Cricket's despair at losing her best friend, I never understood what Cricket saw in Jules. Still, I can fully accept that for a teenage girl, losing a best friend can be even more devastating than a romantic breakup, and I thought this aspect of the story was movingly portrayed.I'm fairly familiar with Nantucket and thought the book also did good job of depicting the uneasy relationship between the locals who live on Nantucket year round, the people who vacation there, and the army of seasonal workers who make hotel beds and sling fried clams when the island's population increases five-fold in the summer months. The scenes of Cricket working at the inn were my favorite -- Cricket's blunt, funny co-worker Liz was a standout and their exchanges about cleaning other people's toilets were priceless. Liz was a far better friend to Cricket than Jules ever seemed to be.Nantucket Blue did have an abundance of plot lines. There was the Clayton family tragedy, the breach in Jules' and Cricket's friendship, the death of a local politician, Cricket's discovery of her mother's journal, Cricket's relationship with a writer staying at the inn, and Cricket's forbidden summer romance. While many of these subplots did converge toward the end of the book, I still felt that removing a couple of them might have resulted in a stronger story. This book reminded me a lot of the Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. Both books feature a family tragedy, a secret romance, a vivid summer setting and a girl who is trying to navigate the minefields of teen friendship and love.Read the full review on my blog, YA Romantics