Author: Leila Howland
Publication Date: May 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Series or Stand Alone: Series, Book Two
Synopsis can be found here
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cricket is back in Nantucket with the goal of raising enough money to pay for half of her room and boarding for the coming semester at Brown. What she doesn’t anticipate is watching her first love Zack go out with her greatest enemy, Parker Carmichael. Or the new feelings she has for an older boy/bartender at her new job.
I have to admit, while I liked Nantucket Blue, the first book, enough, I fell in love with Nantucket Red. Cricket’s growth as a character is really organic and refreshing. She still has her flaws, and makes lots of mistakes, but I like how she tried to handle all of these intense emotions with grace and understanding. I am so glad that Jules is a friend again and my favorite scenes were with her and Liz and Cricket together. Sure, Jules is now going out with Cricket’s one time crush, but let’s be honest. Cricket only has eyes for Zack and Zack is well, spoken for.
Zack’s character isn’t in it as much, but all of his scenes were just perfect. He’s conflicted and confused and hurt and trying hard to do the right thing. Through misunderstandings and some long distance, it’s easy to see how these two characters went from love birds to distant acquaintances, only to have everything come rushing back once they are both back on Nantucket. Every time he showed up with Parker, my heart actually hurt for poor Cricket. I’m not totally sure I buy the whole reason why he’s with Parker, and the drama behind that. I think it’s very understandable why they got together in the first place, but I don’t believe why he stayed with her. (I know why he stays with her, I just don’t think that should have been the reason why he stays with her. There should have been other reasons why…)
Honestly, I wasn’t sold on dear Ben, bartender and older guy. He seemed okay, but the majority of the drama was really between Zack and Cricket and Parker. And while Ben was a nice distraction for a while, it was pretty obvious that he was just a vehicle to make Zack jealous. I kinda wanted more from Ben, more of a plausible love triangle, a worthy opponent. But Ben is more like a shell because of his recent very serious relationship breaking apart. So sorry Ben, but I wasn’t that into you.
The story is well laid out and thoughtful. There were gentle reminders of what happened in the first book, but nothing that was too forceful or obvious. I liked how it all came back to Cricket, and her choices and what she wants and doesn’t want and who she wants to be. It’s a great coming of age story because you know, most people don’t know what they want to do at that age. I certainly didn’t.
Cricket has a lot happening this summer and it makes me long for beaches and outdoor cafes and swimming.
Overall, a great sequel. In my opinion, surpassing the first.
Rating 8 Cookie Worthy