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Ramblings by Year

Unbreak My Heart

Unbreak my Heart
by Melissa Walker

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.com)

Melissa Walker is the only author who could get me to love a book about a girl getting over a boy.

That being said, Unbreak my Heart really isn’t all about a girl getting over a boy. It’s about a girl dealing with the loss of a best friend, other friends and a boy she had a crush on. It’s about a 16-year old girl dealing with some very real issues that 16-year old girls can deal with.

Unbreak my Heart is technically a book I would never read in a million years. It’s not the kind of contemporary fiction that I enjoy. I like my contemporary fiction to involve some sort of mental illness, mental institution or disorder. 😉 I don’t like to read books about teens with friend issues or boy issues.

Therefore, as much as I was anticipating a new novel from Melissa, I was also very, very worried that I wouldn’t like it. The thought of that happening was crushing me.

So I tried to read this with an open mind. I would focus on the character building and dialogue (which I always, always adore in Melissa Walker’s stories) and not get too hung up over the fact that Clem obviously did something “bad” that caused grief between her, her best friend and a boy.

I didn’t have to worry too much about the plot because I pretty much fell in love with Clem and her sister Olivia (one of the best 10-year old siblings in novels EVER) from the start of the story. I also loved Clem’s parents and how functional and real the entire group felt to me. Parents with a sense of humour, yet at the same time can be annoyingly parent-y. The Williams family is possible one of my favourite portrayals of a family in a novel ever. They aren’t perfect, but they are written in such a way that you just feel like everything about them is real.

Girl falls for boy. Yet another plot line I tend to avoid. Yet another plot line in the book I surprisingly enjoyed. It’s amazing how much I can like a blossoming relationship when I can see it blossom and strengthen. As Clem spends more time with James and gets to know him, I can feel myself wanting to spend more time with James and wanting to know more about him. It’s such a great feeling to relive 16=year old summer crush feelings. There were many a moment while reading this book that I felt nostalgic for my summer crush and how I’d spend so much time on the dock at our trailer on Lake Champlain, looking down the lake to see if I could see his fluorescent shorts out on the lawn  (hey, it was 1988 -1993. Don’t judge) so I could suddenly grab my bike, dog or sister and say I was going for a walk, just to pass by. heh

Unbreak my Heart made me feel 16 again. It’s an age I never really wanted to go back to, but the entire sense of being 16, in the summer, dealing with friend and boy crap was just so tangible in this novel. My summers with my family at our trailer were an escape from school and all that other stuff. We weren’t nearly as connected as 16-year olds today are, but I would have been without phone, computer, internet for 3 months. I got where Clem was coming from and I understood where she was going.

Melissa Walker is excellent at capturing the Real and putting it down in words. I need to remind myself never to worry about the subject she’s writing about because we’re 6 books in and I have loved each and every one of them. I need to stop this foolishness of worrying about the subject of the story because it’s never been an issue once I start that first page. 😉

2 comments to Unbreak My Heart

  • Olive was my favorite! She was so adorable and felt like a real little sister. I also liked her earnestness.

    AND YES JAMES. He was great.

    I am glad you ended up really enjoying Unbreak My Heart despite your initial reservations.

  • I’m reading this one at the moment and enjoying it. I agree that Olivia is the best 10-year-old!

    Oh and sorry for the double post. I clicked post by accident 😉