Thursday, May 1, 2014

Redemption Island

"I was remembering a part of me that I'd forgotten about,
or maybe I was seeing a glimmer of who I might become.
A girl who was free.
A girl on the open road."
--Lelia Howland, Nantucket Red

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 288
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review--Thank you!
Find on Goodreads
Previous Books in Series: Nantucket Blue
Goodreads Description

 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.

Cricket & Her Self-Discovery. Girl, it was nice getting back into your head. I think Cricket is a fantastic YA character because she is real and honest and is somebody you either identify with or reminds you of somebody you know in real life. Cricket is not perfect. I love that she makes mistakes. She is passionate. She is fiery and gets angry about things. She really sees the world and wants to experience what is out there. She feels the world around her and wants to live life as an adventure. I LOVE stories of self-discovery and growth and Cricket's journey is beautiful. This is something I can really identify with and relate to even as somebody *cough* slightly older than she is. I really commend any person or character who takes chances and risks in order to fulfill something they dream to do. Cricket's journey drives the entire book and her emotions made me have a lot of feels.

Nantucket. Nantucket, again, is a character all on it's own. Leila's description and visualization of the island is a palpable part of the story. Nantucket breathes life and vitality into the story and I loved being back on the island. I love that all aspects of the island are represented. The wealthy with Jules family and the working people like Cricket and the new faces we meet. It made the story have a full and completely cohesive setting.

The Feels. I won't lie. I had a lot of feels in this book. Happiness, excitement, anger, laughter, irritation. I was texting Betty and Cass and freaking out A LOT. And while some of the stuff was because I was annoyed, I know the makings of a good book will bring out this kind of emotions because it means I have invested in the characters. I am loyal to their emotions and what happens to them. A good amount of feels were occurring and I liked it.

Liz. I LOVE Liz. She is such an absolute comic relief to the story. And while we see a whole other side of her, she continues to lighten the story and mood of every room. Her wit and humor had me laughing out loud at multiple points and I love how she is such a good friend to Cricket and vice versa.

Jules. I know...I KNOW. But without giving anything away she really does grow on me in this story. Not up to Liz status but she's there and I like it. I loved Cricket's feelings and thoughts on their friendship as it evolved and the history they've had.
The Issues. I love a good issues book and I cannot talk too much about what my personal problems were with the central drama of the story because it will spoil a major part of the book. So all I will say is, the big reveal of a certain storyline really irritated me. If and when you read the book and want to discuss I am more than happy but I will not spoil it here. It might be okay and work for you but it didn't for me.

Reserved Seating
This is a fantastic follow-up to Nantucket Blue and I loved Cricket's journey and road to who she wants to be. The character development it great and it will basically make you book your ticket to Nantucket ASAP. 


  1. I too love stories of self discovery and growth :) And I remember how honest and relatable Nantucket Blue was so I can't wait to get back to the feel of Howland's writing. I read another review for this one that gave a bit more detail on the plot and it was not what I expected, but I'm still looking forward to it :)

    1. They are the best! I love seeing the maturity and growth in characters I love. I thought the same thing, that it was so relatable and just super well-done in regards to how people really react in real life. Yeah, I really like to leave plot mysteries or things you don't know from the description or within the first 20 pages on the down low. I didn't know while reading so I would never want to ruin it for somebody else, eep!

  2. I'm getting really excited to read Nantucket Red! While Nantucket Blue was plain fun, I feel like I'll be able to connect even better with this one, now that I know Cricket and Jules from the first book ;)

    1. Yes! It has a lot more emotional depth and what Cricket is going through and how hurt she is. It is excellent. I sped through it.


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