Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

* * * * 1/2 

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. (Taken from Goodreads)

Last year I read Melissa Walker’s Small Town Sinners which was a religious coming of age story.  It ended up not being my cuppa but no matter how much I disliked the subject matter and the story, I couldn’t deny the fact that Melissa Walker is an amazing author.  When I heard she had another book coming out and that it was a cotemporary romance I was absolutely thrilled.   

Melissa Walker doesn’t pull any punches in this book.  There are no false hopes.  There are no promises of perfection that is so easy to find in fiction.  Every single person in this story makes a mistake.  Some are disastrous and some are barely noticeable.  The story brings home the fact that not a single one of us is perfect and we will all screw up at least once in our life.  What’s important, though, is what we do with the knowledge our mistakes give us. 

This book brought back lots of memories. We’ve all been there one way or another.  We have all hurt or have been hurt.  And when we are teens we feel like those hurts are the end of the world and there is no redemption.  In this story, Clem did something really horrible.  She betrayed a friend in one of the worst ways possible.  And that betrayal doesn’t necessarily deserve forgiveness.  And when you do something like that and you KNOW that you were in the wrong, how do you move on?  How do you start over?  It’s hard to figure that out.  Especially when you are young and you bottle it in and don’t confide in someone.  As Clem’s summer progresses, she learns to trust her family and new friends with what has turned her world up side down.  And in doing so she doesn’t necessarily earn forgiveness but she learns that life does go on and it does get better. 

I loved this story.  It was honest without being brutal.  Hopeful without being dishonest.  And romantic without being unrealistic.  If you are a fan of Contemporary YA, I can not recommend this book enough.  This book is definitely a Top Ten contender for 2012.


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