Review: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland 
Expected Publication: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: E-Arc via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5/5
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss

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.

My Thoughts
Nantucket Red starts right off where Nantucket Blue left off. Cricket and her boyfriend Zach have decided to break up and not do the whole long distance thing and she and her best friend are still distant with each other. Cricket is dealing with the struggles of growing up and having to make money for college plus deal with her feelings of being back on Nantucket. She makes new friends and enemies on top of everything else.

I was a little torn with this book. I mainly felt that way because I was so taken by Nantucket Blue that I couldn’t wait to read this one. I loved the whole Cricket and Zach romance and just wanted them to beat the odds and stay together. Yes I get that life isn’t always perfect and that sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes distance and makes the heart grow fonder. However I just didn’t like how their romance was played out. I didn’t really like Zach that much here, I felt at times he wasn’t whom I thought he was. Maybe it was on account on how Cricket treated him and their relationship, meaning she wasn’t always open and honest with her emotions.

The things I did enjoy were the returning characters. I especially loved Liz, she is a crazy and fun chick and I loved that. Cricket definitely needs her in her life, she totally balances her. My verdict is still out on Cricket’s best friend Jules. I was giving her the benefit of the doubt seeing how she was going through things but even when she was being semi nice to Cricket I always felt like she had a motive. I just never trusted her and I don’t know exactly why.

While I wasn’t super gaga over this read it was still very good. Maybe since I read the two books back to back and the first one was just so swoon worthy, I know I  shouldn't compare but I can't help it. I was happy however with how things played out in the end.

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