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Review: Unbreak My Heart

May 17, 2012

Title: Unbreak My Heart
Author: Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Format: ePub via Netgalley

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.—Goodreads

You know what I like?

Books about family.

I mean, books about boys and friends and supernatural things that are sexy are all well and good, but sometimes I just want to read something that is a little closer to what my life was actually like as a teenager.

Though my family never took me on a summer adventure in as close of quarters as a boat, we definitely took a lot of road trips, and when I was 15, I went with my dad and sister on a cruise.

I do not recommend taking 15-year-olds on cruises.

But! I really loved the way Ms. Melissa Walker portrayed the healing power of family in Unbreak My Heart. (You KNOW you’re singing the Toni Braxton song in your head right now.) I also liked that the reason the main character, Clem, was so upset with herself was because of a fairly minor situation that was blown out of proportion. Because that is SUCH a teenager thing to do. I kept expecting it to be some huge, knock-down-drag-out, completely unforgiveable thing, but not so much. It was just a situation that, yes, was a little unwileldy but was taken the wrong way and because teenage girls are ridiculous, the boy in the scenario gets forgiven and the best friend doesn’t.

Girls are reallydumb sometimes.

But I liked that the situation at hand, which takes quite awhile to finally be unveiled, was something that wasn’t ultimately life-shattering. Just something that would require a learning process. And Clem definitely learns all about self-forgiveness and hope and the insane process of moving on. Which is a super important thing to learn and understand before you go to college and do completely embarrassing, ridiculous things ALL THE TIME. (Not that I did completely embarrassing, ridiculous things in college. NEVER. NOT I. 😉 )

And of course there is a charming boy around to help Clem out with the moving on process as well. Since charming boys are, you know, KEY to the moving on process.

Overall, this book is a great summer read. It’s not so emotional that you’ll be sobbing as you tan, but it’s not so cheerful that you’ll want to strangle the characters before throwing your book in the ocean/lake/river/man-made inner-city park watershed thing either.

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