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.
This is one of my favorite summer 2012 reads. It has heart, it has depth, it has lightness, and it has the sweetest romance ever. Walker has absolutely triumphed with this book. What really got me was how REAL everything seemed, especially the characters. Clementine, the protagonist, felt very much like me as a teenager. James, the love interest, was the perfect complement to her rawness – he was joyful and jovial, but in a way that felt both masculine and flawed. The secondary characters of her family and the other boating people were so full and rich and authentic – I confess that I cried at a family moment, which I NEVER do.
The descriptions of boating in the summer, of how the environment and nature play into the emotions of the protagonist, Clementine, made this book for me. Melissa C. Walker masterfully and creatively makes this tale of cheating with a best friend’s boyfriend fresh and new. It very quickly stops being about the betrayal itself, and becomes much more a book about self-acceptance, taking responsibility, and how to deal with the people around you.
I would compare this book to Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, one of my favorite books of 2011, in its ability to heal and empower, as well as give the swoon-worthy moments that we all want.
Absolutely and totally my favorite Melissa C. Walker book yet – and that’s saying a lot considering how much I loved her Violet books and Lovestruck Summer.