Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Published by Bloomsbury
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
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? –(summary excerpt from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: Oh, this book! It killed me, you all, it really did. Some people are saying it is a book about cheating, but I thought it was really something much different than that: I thought it was about friendship, faith, and love. The cheating thing is present in the book, and while most people find that cheating is never okay and don’t want to read about it blah blah blah, this story isn’t that way at all. It’s so much more than that.
Clementine Williams has a broken heart – not the regular kind of broken heart, but the kind she will probably never fully get over. She didn’t mean to fall hard for her best friend’s boyfriend because, well, they were both friends too. Sometimes things just happen and you cannot, you absolutely cannot, help the way you feel. So Clem fell for Ethan – accidentally, as these things happen – and he kind of fell for her too. And then Ethan kind of pushed things, which of course, played on Clem’s emotions. Nothing ever happened even though tons of stuff was kept private between the two of them because, well, they were friends, right? And friends have secrets.
The problem with all of this lies in the fact that even when confronted by BFF Amanda and even when opportunity after opportunity arose, Clem never came clean about her feelings to her best friend – which is considered by some to be lying. Clem also never did anything to stop Ethan’s advances – nothing overly forward, but they did flirt very heavily and that kind of thing just runs wild in a girl’s heart. (Y’all know what I’m talking about.) So nobody told Amanda anything – she had to find out on her own. Big, big mistake.
Once BFF Amanda finds out about this relationship (we’ll call it a crush, but it was a mad crush), she immediately cuts ties with Clem without even hearing her side of the story. The rest of their friends follow Amanda’s lead, and Ethan cuts ties with her as well to save his relationship with his girlfriend. Clem is left alone and reeling – reeling – from things that spiraled out of control in a hurry. She was not alone in it – Ethan was certainly an active participant! – but she is certainly alone now. No one calls, no one talks to her. She feels like the lowest of the low and the guilt she feels is running her over.
Not really understanding what their daughter is going through, Clem’s parents decide a summer vacation is just what they all need. So they pack up their small boat and the three, along with Clem’s awesome younger sister Olive, set sail for a summer adventure on the river. Let me repeat: all summer on the river, on a small boat, grieving the loss of her friends (all of them), the boy she likes/loves, and carrying the guilt from everything on her shoulders. Clem is certainly not excited, but her family is!
Clem wasn’t paying that much attention the day James entered the picture – James, the red-headed funny guy. She barely noticed at first that his boat was sailing almost the same path as hers. Suddenly, every time she turns around, James is there. It annoys her a little bit at first, but James is persistent, patient, and kind. James and Olive certainly hit it off well, and eventually Clem comes around. She begins to shed some of her guilt and allow herself to have a good time. And you know what? She realized this James guy isn’t such a bad guy after all. Before long, sparks are flying all over the place and there is a romance that I thought was fantastic.
Great Secondary Characterization
Awesome Setting: A Boat!
Books Containing Great Music
Books Containing Issues: tons of issues, but not to heavy
Alternating Chapters: Clem’s present & Clem’s past
(the past being before the summer)
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
is currently available for purchase.
Interview with Author Melissa Walker
& a Giveaway of Unbreak My Heart
in the following blog post!