BY MELISSA WALKER
From Publisher for Review
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
This was a nice pleasant summer read. It not quite being summer, I didn't get to enjoy it by the pool or outside but the feeling was the same. Clem made a mistake and fell for her best friend's boyfriend. But everyone seemed to forget that there were two people that did something wrong. Actually it was more of a flirtation and Clem tried to stop it. Her best friend, Amanda, blamed her for something that never happened. And everyone chose a side. Not Clem's. But it wouldn't matter because Clem thinks she's the worst person in the world. Even if you chose her side, she'd push you away. She wouldn't take your comfort. She is sure she is the worst person on the face of the earth.
This is one of those books that reminds me of how MAJOR everything seems when you're a teenager. It reminds me of how great that first kiss was and how awful that first breakup was. How bad it felt to not get asked to the dance and how great it felt to go out on my first date. How BIG everything felt. And how it was all about ME. Because when I was a teenager, the world revolved around me. I was so focused on fitting in and being what everyone wanted the slightest blip was a huge ordeal. And that's where Clem is right when the story starts. The world has shut down because she made a mistake and her best friend unfriended her on Facebook and her heart is broken.
Thankfully she's spending the summer on a sailboat with her family instead of skulking around the house or her job at the mall. But spending time on a small boat with her family doesn't give her a lot of grieving time or feeling sorry for herself and then there is this cute happy, puppy dog like guy that is at every stop they make that gets under her skin and his mood is kind of contagious. He was contagious off the page as much as on the page. I looked forward to reading about him. He and Clem, oh his name is James and he is an artist and sensitive, and Crazy Olive, Clem's little sister spend the summer together swimming, fishing, eating together and exploring. It's very sweet how James includes Olive in their outings and makes her feel welcome.
The story goes back and forth between past and present as Clem tries to write a letter to Amanda about what happened and then she thinks back on the flirtation that went on between her and Ethan, Amanda's boyfriend. It's chronicled for us, though the big reveal is a bit of a disappointment considering all the fuss . But this is a very enjoyable coming of age story, at least I think that's what it's billed as. I'd say it's about a girl that makes a mistake and gets a blessed amount of time away from the situation to get a clearer picture of what really happened. With time and the love of her family, she's able to see things for what they really are and unbreak her own heart. It's a lovely story with a sweet romance. I recommend it for anyone that loves romance or YA contemporary.
I do have to say that James has his own kind of heartbreak he is dealing with this summer and though he doesn't show it, he shares it with Clem. At one point in the story, he needs Clem's parents' help and I found myself sobbing through this part of the story. I really, really loved James with his happy attitude, always making people feel good, young and old. And in his time of crisis, I fell apart. My heart broke for him. I was really surprised that I had such a strong reaction, but I did. Sign of a great story, when it makes you cry!
I read the e-ARC of this one, but I'll be buying this one for the shelf so I can read it again. I think it's good to remember what it was like when I was a teen and how significant everything was. And to remember, no matter what age you are, to lighten up on yourself. Remember that moms and dads.