Monday, May 12, 2014

Blog tour: Nantucket Red Series: Nantucket #2 by Leila Howland

Nantucket Red
Series: Nantucket #2 by Leila Howland
Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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.

The Nantucket setting

The Nantucket setting is crucial to both NANTUCKET BLUE and NANTUCKET RED. The idea for the books originated from it! I spent a summer on Nantucket when I was eighteen and was struck by its physical beauty, the way summers feel timeless, and also the incredible privilege there. But aside from having experienced Nantucket myself at a crucial time in my life, there are many reasons why it makes a great setting for a contemporary young adult novel. First, it's an island. To me, when a character isn't a native to the island, placing her on one means separating her from what is familiar and known, detaching her from her "mainland," both literally and figuratively. Already there is conflict and drama. I'm hardly the first to think of this. There are so many classics set on islands, Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies to name a couple! Second, Nantucket in the summer is pretty much the epitome of the season. With its gorgeous beaches, quaint historic New England town, and bike paths crisscrossing the island, it just exudes summer paradise. The surroundings are practically begging a girl to fall in love. Third, there's a lot of freedom for teenagers there. The island is relatively safe, and young people seem to be able to live their own lives without that sense of always being watched and monitored by adults. If the adults in YA are very vigilant and involved, it tends to lessen the risks for the main characters. I think the adults are having their own fun on Nantucket, so kids seem to be out and about on their own at all hours, enjoying the beaches, the fresh air and sunshine, and of course, those summer nights!

LEILA HOWLAND loves to read, explore L.A., and engage in funny and meaningful conversations with her friends and family, especially her brother who calls from Washington D.C. whenever he’s waiting for the bus. A lot gets discussed in those phone calls, but they tend to end abruptly when the bus shows up. She can really cut the rug, but wishes she could sing without people covering their ears. A graduate of Georgetown University, Leila spent five years acting in New York where she was a company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. It was a lot of fun and she often talks about “getting back into it.” The closest she has come was a stint as an extra on The Young and the Restless in 2010. Leila now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs. She teaches high school English and blogs for HelloGiggles.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Cool guest post. Thanks for participating!

  2. Aww, I like the cover. This sounds really good.

  3. It sounds really good, I would love to read it. Cute cover. Thanks for having the giveaway.