As we already know, I’m a sucker for a good YA story with a beautiful, beachy, romantic cover. So, when I saw this cover in NetGalley’s YA section, I just knew I had to get it.
What I didn’t know when I started reading is that it’s actually the second book in Howland’s Nantucket series, the first of which is Nantucket Blue (the cover of which is equally as beachy and romantic and gorgeous, as seen below). Sometimes you just can’t pick up a sequel and have any idea what’s going on, but that wasn’t the case here. Howland does a great job of providing enough back story that someone like me can know what’s happening without having read the first book, but I don’t think there was so much backstory that it would have bored me if I’d read the first book.
In Nantucket Red, the protagonist is Cricket Thompson, a senior in high school who works her butt off to get what she’s always dreamed of – a spot on the lacrosse team at Brown University. She succeeds, and in the summer between her high school graduation and freshman year of college, she spends a few months on Nantucket, earning money for her freshman year at Brown. Of course beach-filled fun and romance ensue as Cricket tries to salvage her best-friendship, considers the new available (or is he?) guy she works with, and tries to get over her first love (who just happens to be her best friend’s brother, which is why she’s trying to salvage that best-friendship). Along the way, though, Cricket does something far more important – she begins to think about what she really wants to do with her life, and whether or not jumping into her freshman year at Brown is really the right answer.
Overall, I liked Cricket a lot. She was realistically flawed as a human being and she struggled with decisions in a way typical of older teens, but she was able to resolve her problems and set herself off in a positive direction for beginning adulthood. If more books follow in this Nantucket series, I’ll definitely be checking them out.
Nantucket Red will be out next week on May 13th, which gives you time to read Nantucket Blue before then! Check them out here on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller.