Expected Publication: May 7th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams. Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t. When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer. But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality. A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.
I was plieing around a barely dressed Jules to the flute solo in the South African jazz song when Zack opened the door.
"Hey, Mom's in her dashiki," he said.
He strode in the room but stopped at the sight of Jules in her bra and underwear.
"What the hell are you two doing?Jesus!Why didn't you warn me?"
He ran out.
"You should knock,"Jules called after him, howling with laughter.
"I didn't know you were in your freaking lingerie. You've scarred me for life," he yelled from the hallway.
"At least she wasn't wearing a thong," I said, leaving Jules to get dressed and shutting the door behind me.
"That doesn't make me feel better,"he said, retreating into den. I followed him. He sat on the sofa, his head on his hand. "In fact, great. Thanks for the image."
"What you saw was no different than a bathing suit."
"Oh, yes it is," he said."I don't know how and I don't why, but is." The right corner of his mouth turned up. He put his feet on the coffee table. Crossed his ankles. "I have to make an appointment with the worry doctor now," Zack said. The Claytons had moved here four years ago from New York. From what Jules had told me, Zack had been an anxious kid with thick glasses who'd seen a psychiatrist, his "worry doctor," during most of elementary school. Most people were embarrassed about therapy, but Zack owned his time in the chair- It's not a couch, he said, but a comfortable black leather chair and ottoman, very 1970s-and was happy to discuss with anyone who asked. He stayed back a year when they moved here, and now he was funny, slightly under-the-radar freshman at Alden with plenty of friends and boldly framed glasses he wore with confidence.
"Nice game today, by the way, Cricket." I hadn't even noticed he was there. "And yes, I'm aggressively changing the subject. You were awesome out there."
"Oh, thanks," I said and plopped next to him on the sofa.
"You're so fast, like an animal running from whatever's above it on the food chain."
"Are you calling me an animal, Zack Clayton?" I smacked him with a needlepoint pillow of a crab.
"Hey, the crab is a lover not a fighter," he said, taking the pillow from me and placing it behind his head. " I just meant that you looked like a prairie dog fleeing a jackal."
"I'm a prairie dog now?"
He nodded. I looked around for another pillow, but by the time I'd spotted it he'd grabbed it and was holding it in front of his face in self-defense.
He lowered it and said: “But who says being an animal is bad? Personally, I think we should honor more of our animal instincts."
"If I ever catch you two following your animal instincts, I'll puke twice and die," Jules said, emerging from her room wearing jeans and a delicate cardigan over a loose, lownecked T-shirt.
"I wasn't flirting," I said.
"Who said anything about flirting?" Zack was smiling, eyebrows raised. I looked at him in shock.
"Busted," Jules said. Zack hugged the pillow and titled his head back in a silent laugh.
About the Author
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. NANTUCKET BLUE is her first novel.
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