Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 22nd 2012
Genres: Young Adult, General, Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Friendship
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Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams' heart. She fell for her best friend's boyfriend and long story short: he's excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents' plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he's just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem's walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem's heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.
There are certain topics that make me pull a Fred Savage – one being cheating. Yet, I had read Melissa C. Walker’s books in the past and really connected with them and thus set out to read Unbreak My Heart despite my brain going ‘Is this a cheating book?’ Friends, obviously I was in good hands while reading and surprisingly connected and had sympathy for the main character, Clem, the illustrious other woman.
Clem is about to spend her summer on the family boat: The Possibility. Instead of being excited she is sad and fixating on what happened before leaving for the summer. You see, Clem started to grow attracted and form a flirtation with her BFF Amanda’s boyfriend, Ethan. They got caught and Clem really regrets her actions, as her friendship was way more important than a boy.
James the ginger proves a great love interest in Unbreak My Heart. He offers respite for Clem. He is upbeat, artsy and does not know Clem’s past. It’s good for her because he’s kind of like a judgement free zone which is what she needs to move past what she did.
I think I would be totally remiss if I did not mention Clem’s family. They are the bomb diggity and consist of her mom, dad and little sister Olive. Y’all most of the scenes that Melissa C. Walker writes Olive into end up stealing the show. I loved how tightly-knit and functional Clem’s family is. It totally made the book for me.
While reading about the flirtation in Unbreak My Heart made me uncomfortable, it was nice to see the guy take some of the blame for what happened instead of it all being the other woman’s fault. It takes two to tango, ya know? I actually found myself sympathizing with Clem and felt horrible about what she did and how she kept beating herself up when you can’t exactly change the past.
If you like reading about characters who undergo self change, discover, and working things out for themselves, you’ll love Unbreak My Heart. It contains solid writing about how we ALL make mistakes when we are young, but you have to move past those mistakes. Yes, be sorry, but don’t dwell forever just because you did something wrong. Seriously, I was a big fan of the life lessons in Unbreak My Heart because they were real and not overly saccharine, definitely a strong contemporary read.
Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.
Other reviews of Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker:
Rather Be Reading – “I was prepared for lots of tangled emotions.”
Anna Reads – “helped me grow as a reader”
Hobbitsies – “moving and relatable and fun.”
Confessions Of A Bookaholic – “a beautiful coming-of-age story”