Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Published: May 22, 2012 by Bloomsbury
Received: Purchased from B&N
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? [goodreads]
It's books like these that remind my why I love to read YA contemps. These types of stories are filled with so much emotion that as an adult reader, they bring you back to those messy teenage years. Growing up is tough. There are so many expectations and standards to either live by or avoid. But what happens in the in between? What about those moments that get lost in the cracks? This novel brings out those moments and sheds light on how a good person can make bad decisions. It happens. It's part of the growing pains we love and hate so much.
Clementine fell for her best friend's boyfriend. It's pretty much one of the worst things you can do as a teenage girl when it comes to friendship. That's a line that should never be crossed, no matter what. This type of behavior is so unlike Clem that even she has a hard time accepting it. How on earth could she possibly have feelings for Ethan? He is dating Amanda, her very best friend. As wrong as it is, Clem finds herself wrapped up in these feelings until ultimately it all comes to a head and Amanda finds out the truth. But what exactly is the truth? It's not like Clem actually did anything with Ethan. But sometimes, having feelings whether you act on them or not, and then hiding them from people who trust you, can be the most devastating thing of all.
With her life in ruins, Clem is spending the summer on her parent's boat. The timing is somewhat perfect for Clem. She can sail away from her horrible mistakes for a few months, but knowing she has to face it all at the end of the summer doesn't make this trip any easier. Clem is lost. She doesn't recognize herself anymore. Her parents and younger sister witness her slipping away too, but try desperately to reel her back in. As the tide takes them further down river Clem meets James, a boy who is also making the same sailing trip as Clem and her family. Together they cross paths more than once and slowly it's James who breaks away the wall that Clem has been building up. Sometimes it takes the people who care about us most to remind us who we are, even when we make horrible choices. What we choose to do with our lives after those choices have been made is what truly dictates us.
I adored this novel, so so much. Even though what Clem did -- falling for her best friend's boyfriend -- was so unbelievably wrong, I found myself reaching out to her. My heart was breaking, right along side her's. I could sympathize with her. I remember days from my teenage years when I had not made the best decisions. At the time I thought my life was over, but looking back I now realize it was just a bump in the road -- the path that was leading me to who I am today. This novel is complete with good times, the kind that make your heart swell & grab that package of post-its because you must mark all these wonderful passages. But it's also filled with some moments that make your stomach clench, daring you to keep reading, but so afraid and worried of what's to come. It's definitely a journey worth experiencing.