Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publish Date: May 22, 2012
Source: ARC from contest
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 her little sister would make Clem would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.
Then she meets James at one of their first spots 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?
I feel like maybe there’s something wrong with me. When I turned the last page of Unbreak My Heart I wanted to cry despite the fact that it ended on a pretty hopeful note. See what I mean? I should be happy, right? Maybe part of it is that I’m a tad jealous of Clem’s fantastic summer. Being on a boat all summer sounds like pure torture to me (at least, the sixteen-year-old me) but after reading Clem’s story I almost feel as if I was robbed of something since I didn’t get a boating trip of my own. Unless you count the two-week-long road trip in the van with my 4 other family members, but I don’t :P
Let me just say that Walker certainly knows how to write a good teen character. Though I’ve never been through anything like Clem went through I could completely relate to a lot of her thoughts. In the first 1/3 of the book when all she wants to do is sulk and feels as if she deserves the self-punishment? So been there. When she snaps at her parents and sister because they won’t just give her some room? Been there too. When she has those happy moments with her family that make it seem like they aren’t so bad? Definitely been there. Clem is a character that I could completely relate to despite the fact that we had very little in common which I loved.
Of course, there’s a romance aspect. It’s nowhere near the focal point of the story, though. It’s more like the nice the sprinkles on top of your cupcake, though. It’s pretty and fun, but it isn’t what’s at the heart of the story. When you get right down to it, this is a story of a girl whose completely broken inside and spends the summer picking up all the pieces and putting herself together again. It’s a story about loss and friendship and family. And it’s a story about the magic of summer.
The Nutshell: Unbreak My Heart is more than just a story about summer love. If you’re looking for a good summer read, you’ll definitely find it here. You’ll also find a story about a girl learning to forgive and love herself again, a story about families, and a story about what happens when black and white seem to blur.