Author: Melissa Walker
Published: May 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
POV: 1st person
Format: Kindle eBook
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf.
"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?"
Considering the plot – a girl who falls head-over-heels for her best friend's boyfriend and consequently becomes a social outcast because of that choice – I expected to dislike Unbreak My Heart. But, Walker skillfully portrays Clem's character in such a way that she quickly became someone readers can enjoy, forgive, understand, and even relate to. Alternating between the past and present, Clem narrates both her past actions / life and her current summertime journey on a sailboat with her family. There is a romance, that much is obvious from the cover alone, but there are also other relationships being created and mended – namely, Clem's relationship with her family and with herself. Unbreak My Heart is an unexpected pleasure, delving honestly into love, family, and friendship.
Highlights: James is an incredibly vibrant character, and I really wish the reader could have seen his drawings. Clem's family, especially her little sister Olive, are definite highlights. This story is very focused on friends and families, which I always love. Sailing for the summer is a different plot point for me, and I love how Walker shows the ups and downs of such a "vacation." Even Clem is a highlight, if only because I didn't expect to like her so much, and she proved to be a wonderful protagonist worth rooting for.
Lowlights: Clem can be a bit bratty and her moody behavior can be a bit much at times, but it adds to her realism (considering her age). I wish there was more closure for Amanda and Clem, I'm curious to know how things worked out between them. Also, the cover. The image is great, but that darn heart and cheesy pink may scare away some readers (like me).
Rating: The Royal Library, Middle Shelf (normal/high 4 out of 5). This book is fantastic, worth owning, and has earned a spot in the royal library. I enjoyed this story very much, despite a few small issues, and would recommend this book to other readers.