Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

Title: Unbreak My Heart
Author: Melissa Walker
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Release date: May 22nd 2012
Pages: 272
Genre: Contemporary YA; romance
Source: NetGalley
Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
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?
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I was so excited for this book - I love the cover, and the premise sounded unique and interesting. I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to relate to Clem because of the whole cheating-thing - a girl putting a guy first and not thinking of her friend just makes me so mad - but I thought I'd love the story of how she moves on, and the romance, too. I did like this book, but it turned out to be the other way around - I liked reading about how Clem fell for Ethan, but had some problems with this summer's romance storyline.

Even though I thought that aspect would bother me, I really liked reading about what happened before this summer, how Clem tried to resist but found herself falling for her best friend's boyfriend. It feels wrong to say this, but I actually really liked Clem and Ethan together - they have great chemistry, and their nerdy conversations are hilarious and awesome. I especially liked their talking about music - introduced me to some great songs! I don't approve of what they did or anything like that - I felt bad for Amanda, and Ethan is an ass for cheating, but, I don't know, I just thought Clem and Ethan were really cute together, and I liked reading about how their relationship develops. I liked reading about Clem and Amanda's friendship, too - I really liked all the flashbacks, maybe even more than the actual story.

That's not to say I didn't like the actual story, the one that takes place this summer. I liked reading about the sailing - makes me wish it was summer and I could go sailing, too. How living on a boat affects the family dynamics is interesting to read about, too. Olive, Clem's little sister, is adorable. The family dynamics are really well-done, and Clem's issues with her family are easy to relate to, at least for me. 

Surprisingly, the only storyline I didn't love was the romance. I can't put my finger on it; I don't really know why I didn't like it all that much. James is a good character, sweet and quirky with some issues of his own. But... I don't know, it just bothered me a little how much of Clem's character growth focuses on her relationship with James. Clem's character growth is great, and I loved reading about her coming to terms with what she did. Sure, James is a part in helping her deal with all of it, but so is the family life and just Clem as a person. I would have liked the focus to be more on Clem's inner strength and less on how important the romance was for her development. Something about the picture of Clem only being able to fix herself with the help of another guy just bothers me. Nevertheless, I did like Clem and James together - I just wish the story hadn't focused on their relationship as much.

Even though the romance and what role it plays in Clementine's character growth didn't sit right with me, I really liked Unbreak My Heart. With an easy to relate to main character, great family dynamics and a unique setting, Unbreak My Heart is the story of finding the strength to forgive yourself. It's a sweet book that I enjoyed reading.

Do you have any recommendations of books about traveling? Maybe even ones with unqiue settings like this one?


  1. I've been blown away by the cover of this one. It's really cute, you know! The idea of sailing is so great. As you know, I like road trips. And whatever travelling there is! 

    Of course, the story too is interesting for me. Aside from the travelling part, I mean, hello! I've never really heard of a MC who cheated on her best friend for a guy. It's absolutely new to me. It's so intriguing! She's kind of the bad girl at first! I want to know how Ethan and Clem can be so cute together!

    I think the premise of this one is really good. I thought that Clementine will be able to reflect things with her family during their sailing part. I think that's a good learning experience for her with all the sailing part. She can have time for herself. But having a guy help her? It's not really bad. But I don't think it's really appropriate, you know. I think that's why you didn't enjoy James and Clem's romance at all. But I think it's kind of cute.

    I'll definitely read this one. Nice review, Hannah! :)

  2. Yes, the cover is gorgeous! I need to buy a finished copy so it can look pretty on my shelf :p

    I've read a few books about girls who cheated/deceived their best friend, but this is my favorite of them - I usually have issues relating to a character who does something like that, but I loved Clem!

    I didn't not enjoy Clem and James's romance *at all* - I liked them together. I just didn't think it was amazing, and the message of someone only being to heal is with the help of a new guy kind of bugged me.

  3. What are those books? I'll read those! :)

    I agree with you. It doesn't sound such a good idea. It's like saying to girls that they should just look for another guy to heal theirselves.

  4. Yeah, and I don't mind that some books have storylines like that, but it's in so many books that it gets on my nerves. Not necessarily this book's fault, but still.

    I couldn't think of any at first, but I looked through my Goodreads list, and I've read A LOT of books about cheating: The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay, Nothing Like You by Laura (Lauren? I forget) Strasnick, Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman (but like you know, I didn't like that one), When It Happens by Susane Colasanti, Forget You by Jennifer Echols, When the Stars Go Blue (only a minor cheating-storyline, but still), Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz (well, sort of...), Bloom by Elizabeth Scott, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (sort of) - good luck reading all of those :p

  5. I've been literally pining for this one for such a long time, and it's great you really liked it!

    What I love about any kind of story about cheating, is how it always elicits lots of reactions - who's wrong? The guy who cheated, the girl who went after the guy, both of them, no one because it's life and it happens and what if those two were meant to be together. It's something that always leads to a debate. Like Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. Technically he cheated on Ellie, but he and Anna are perfect for each other, so it made sense that they'd end up together. He should've broken up first, but in a way that whole process made everyone grow as people, and it's something they all needed to go through, so maybe it was the right course of action?

    I guess Clem and Ethan are the same - from what you describe, they're great together, maybe they should've been together. But the girl is Clem's best friend, and that's an awful thing to do to a friend. Even if Ethan had broken up with his girlfriend and then gone out with Clem, would it have made Clem's friend hurt less, seeing her friend and her ex-boyfriend together? And what's more important - helping her not get hurt by staying in a relationship that is probably not "the one" or letting Clem and Ethan fall in love if it's meant to be. 

    I'm the first person to condemn cheating - I've been cheated on, so I'm the first person to say cheating is NEVER EVER the right thing to do. But I've seen my friends get cheated on or actually do the cheating themselves, and I realized that it's hard to judge in all situations. I mean, if you're not married and just dating, it's possible you'll break up. And what if your boyfriend and your best friend are perfect for each other? Why not let them fall in love even if it hurts you, since it's obvious your boyfriend isn't the one you're meant to be with? There are so many gray areas in this, and I know that whenever we talk about this with my friends, everyone has strong opinions and reactions.

    I love how it takes place on a boat - how unique! I love the little sister - she sounds so quirky:)

    I haven't read this, but maybe she needed James in order to get over her guilt because she needed someone, anyone to forgive her? Before she could forgive herself. So she latched onto James?

    I don't know if this makes any sense:)

  6. I'll surely read books like this one now. I'm curious as to how those MCs will be the cheaters. LOL

    There's a LOT. Alright. I'll hunt for copies of those. Thank you, Hannah. Someone have actually recommended Forget You and The Truth About Forever to me already. I don't know why I keep on passing on those. Yes, good luck to me! :)

  7. I'm actually not a huge fan of cheating-books because I often just cannot forgive the character, but in this case, it totally worked! This book definitely sends a cheating-was-wrong message, so I'm not sure if loving Clem and Ethan together was intended, but I loved them anyways :p

    And about James: I don't know, that kind of makes sense, but it couldn't have been *anyone* forgiving her since her parents and sister had forgiven her, too.

  8. I wonder if I'll like Ethan or James more:) What made you like Ethan better? Was he nicer to her?

    It's good there's a clear anti-cheating message and it will be interesting to see how she'll forgive herself and if she'll be forgiven.

  9. As a person, James is definitely better, since, well, he's not a cheater. But I just loved Clem and Ethan together because they're so freaking adorable! They're geeky and have these weird jokes that no one else gets and, I don't know, I just loved them :p James is a nice guy, but kinda boring, to be honest, even if he's the better person and of course better for Clem.

  10. Isn't it interesting how sometimes we're sure of who we'll like the most based on our own ideals and values, but then in the course of the story we kind of side with the "wrong" person? It's happened to me in other books, but I always find it interesting to see why!:))

  11. The cover of this one is soooo cute! The blurb makes it sounds so unique and judging from your review, you liked it! I'm not a *huge* contemporary fan because I don't really enjoy sob stories and heavy topics but I'm going to keep an eye out for this one!

  12. I understand things happen in life that you sometimes can't control, but overall, I am not a fan of books about cheating.  The subject immediately turns me off.  So unfortunately, I don't think I'll be reading this book on that fact alone.   Five stars for the cover, though.

  13. A character cheating usually means I won't relate to them for me too, but in Unbreak My Heart, it somehow worked! And I've heard a few other bloggers say they have issues with cheating-books but liked this one. So if you ever do give a book about cheating a try, it should be this one :)


Please leave a comment - I love to hear what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...