Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Cricket Thompson and her again-best friend Jules Clayton have finally graduated from high school and are raring to begin their lives at their chosen universities.

But not before spending one more unforgettable summer on Nantucket Island, of course.

For Cricket, it’s not all fun and games. She has a full-time waitressing job at one of the exclusive restaurants on the island, mainly to raise $8,000 to help pay for her university board and lodging. On top of that, she is training rigorously everyday to keep form before she officially joins the Brown University lacrosse team at the start of the semester.

Cricket is crazy exhausted everyday, but she’s not complaining. The busier, the better. That way, she won’t have time to think about the romance that fizzled out between her and Zack Clayton.

Diversion comes in the form of handsome new guy and co-worker Ben, who seems very much into her. They share more than a few innocent kisses and make out sessions, but Cricket knows there’s a lot more than he’s letting on.

On the upside, she discovers Nina’s life list scrawled behind her old graduation photo, and curiously finds herself completing the list, Cricket style.

The life list provides Cricket with some form of respite from her crazy summer. But without her realizing it, she suddenly finds herself doing things she has never done before, like getting drunk and breaking the law, fighting to keep her spot at Brown University, and openly questioning whether she really wants what she always thought she wanted.

First off, it’s more serious than Nantucket Blue, but I get it, graduating from high school and all. Still, oh my gosh! I adore this series because it managed to be real and fun, free and light, with a good dose of romantic feels and family/friendship drama, without being shallow or frivolous. I like that the main character Cricket has a good head on her shoulders and managed to take charge and make a believable decision about her life. Not sure whether there will be a third book, but I know I will be a very happy girl if it happens.

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