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Review - Unbreak My Heart

Friday, June 1, 2012
Unbreak My Heart
by Melissa C. Walker

Publication: May 22, 2012 (Hardback)
Pages: 240
Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Buy it: Amazon | KindleB&N | Book Depository

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?

Unbreak My Heart is a heartbreaking novel about love, friendship, and forgiveness. My heart despaired along with Clem's, and I wanted to walk up to her and give her the hug that she needed. Clem is the insecure teenage girl that we can all relate to. She isn't bad at heart; she never meant to hurt anyone. She just couldn't stop her growing feelings for her best friend's boyfriend--and that's what love is. It's something that we can't control. It is true that we can control our actions, something Clem could have done better, and she suffers the consequences, as we find out through Clem's alternating narration of the past and present.

Clem's heart breaks when her best friend of forever (Amanda) ditches her after finding out that Clem and her boyfriend Ethan's relationship wasn't as innocent as she thought. While the two never really "hook up," Clem betrayed Amanda emotionally, and that's bad enough to start the rumors--and make Clem a social pariah while nobody blames Ethan. At first, I really despised Amanda, and I was annoyed with Clem for thinking of herself as a bad person. As I learned more about their relationship over the course of the novel, the two grew on me. While I never really felt like I got to know Amanda, Clem's character matures when she meets James. James was by far my favorite character. He has unique personality that goes along with his red hair. Together, he and Clem's younger sister Olive are the ones who get her to stop moping around and bring the smile back to her face. James is the one who brings her back to real life.

One of my favorite parts of the novels is how old songs, films, and ships are worked into the novel. It is music and a shared taste for the classics that brings Clem and Ethan together. It is a sailing trip that brings Clem and James together, and their shared flair for individuality brings them closer. I enjoyed learning more about life on the water. The family getaway is just what Clem needed to heal her broken heart, especially as James is around to show Clem what a real relationship is about.

This is a book that can be easily finished in one sitting. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for a light summer read filled with sunshines and smiles from start to finish. However, you won't regret picking up this book. It is a beautiful contemporary read that looks into relationships of all kinds (from family to friends to love).

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
6 comments on "Review - Unbreak My Heart"
  1. This was one of my favorite reads of May because of the emotional impact and great characters. I just wanted to hug Clem and help her get over her heartbreak. I also loved how present her family was, well obviously because they're on a boat, especially sweet Olive.

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  2. Hi Kris!
    I'm so happy to hear that this proved to be such a emotional and enjoyable read for you. I love the cover of this one, and yours is the first review that I've actually stopped to read. And I love how eloquently you describe this book! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog earlier today! Hope to see you around more often, I'll definitely be dropping by Imaginary Reads regularly! :)

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  3. I'm so glad this book was such a great read. From the cover, I would've never guessed how deep this book actually is. I'm so glad I read your review. This is going onto my tbr list. (Yes, yes, I'm sorry for judging a book by its cover.) The characters sound fascinating and I'd love to get my hands on this. Great review!

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  4. @Bookworm1858: Same here :)

    @Evie: I love the cover too. Glad to hear you like my review!

    @Julie: It's a beautiful book, and I definitely recommend it. (Truth be told, covers are the first thing I look at too, though the synopsis plays a major role in whether or not I look inside the book.)

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  5. I have heard a lot about this book and every time I read a review it makes me want to read it more and more. Contemporary novels are such a joy to read and I haven't had a chance to read one in a while. Great review!

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    1. I love a good contemporary novel as well. This is a wonderful book to pick up :)

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