13/02/2014

Review: Unbreak My Heart {Melissa C. Walker}


 
Sophomore year broke Clementine's heart. She fell for her best friend's boyfriend and, though he's been excused, Clem is vilified.

Her parents have a plan though; to spend the summer on their sailboat, which gives Clem the time to float away from her problems.Then, on a stop along the way, she meets James.

He and his dad are sailing the summer away too, and he's just the distraction Clem needs. A way to break down her walls and heal her heart.
 

 
This is one of those sugar-sweet stories that you snuggle in to and finish with a smile. Let me begin by saying that I hate books about cheating, especially when it's about one girl betraying her best friend. That stuff is not cool and I never end up feeling sorry for the main character, or empathising with her. But I'm surprised to say Unbreak My Heart was different.

There was no lurid sneaking around to make-out, but instead we got to see the innocence of Clem's feelings for Ethan and, more importantly, the absolute devastation losing her best friend caused her. 

This book is the aftermath, with Clem on a boat with her family, reflecting and trying to get past how awful things have become. Through flashbacks we see her and Ethan's relationship grow, her conflict, and a really beautiful friendship she shares with Amanda.

The way Clem is so angry at herself, disgusted by her actions, left me really curious as to what exactly she did with Ethan that was so bad. But when it was revealed I felt sorry for her, because what she did really wasn't so bad. It was a betrayal, but it was a forgiveable one. In fact, Ethan The Instigator was most at fault and I'm disappointed that he was vindicated by everyone. Why is the girl always made to wear the scarlet letter?

The flashbacks were my favourite part of this book my far, as they provide a lot of insight and really helped me understand everything. I also loved seeing Amanda and Clem's friendship and how dramatically Clem had changed, thanks to her heartbreak of losing Amanda. She begins the summer pretty depressed and anti-social, but then along comes James.

James wears shirts that bring out the red in his hair and has a suspicious amount of bananas. He and his father are following the same loop as Clem and her family, so when they dock or meet up there're plenty of sweet exchanges. Through dinghy rides and deli stops, family dramas and shared secrets, they both learn a lot from each other. 

James, despite his own problems, is always in a good mood and Clem soon finds that infectious. It was nice to have a character who was optimistic and pushed past the bad stuff. James was a breath of fresh air and really helped Clem see that to move on she needed to forgive herself.


The shining moment of this book had to be the various boat puns; whether it was names of boats Clem spotted, or her and James trying to think of their own, it was hilarious. I kept coming up with my own for days after reading it (apologies to my twitter followers who were subjected to some of that!). Though I do wish the ending had more of a resolution, it had the hope of one humming in the distance, which meant that I finished feeling satisfied things would work out for the best.

"My mind is not a very forgiving place." 

 
 

 

Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.
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17 comments:

  1. I'm glad this one reviews the "after" of the cheating and the complexity of emotion. That's what makes it unique. Great use of flashbacks to fill in the gaps during the deed! Great review Allie, this title sounds interesting.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Yeah, definitely. Books that take place 'during' the whole thing just make me frustrated at the character and I ended up throwing those books at walls :P

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  2. This sounds really cute. I've heard good things about it, so I'm happy to see you liked it too. I have to admit, I like the older cover though!

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    1. yeah I'm not a fan of this cover AT ALL. Then again, I'm not a fan of the other cover either. I think they could have come up with something a lot more unique!

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  3. I enjoyed James and the story itself as well and remembered cuddling into this one too

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  4. I've been wanting to read this! Thanks for a great review :)
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  5. I love light romances! And I've been meaning to give a Melissa Walker book a try, so this might be it! Great review, Allie :)

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    1. I'd really recommend it! It was the perfect cute romance to brighten my day :D

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  6. This one sounds like it has a touch of humor in it which would indeed be charming. I really like the sound of a cute romance too.

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  7. I love sweet stories like this! Thanks for letting me know about the cheating aspect. I definitely would have reacted negatively towards that! This sounds like a great relaxing summer read. I'll have to keep this book in mind for the future!

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    1. Oh it'd be perfect for a summer day or just a lazy Sunday really!

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  8. I really loved this one! I was intrigued to read the POV of someone who does betray her friend in a cheating capacity. I've read few others but this one was probably the most successful for me. I'm glad you decided to give it a try!

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    1. Totally agree. Most other books about cheating are so typical, portraying the 'best friend' character as heinous, so it's like it excuses the cheating or something. This was completely different because it really focused on the friendship between the girls!

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  9. I like reading books about a cheating BFF because it kind of gives an insight to the person's mindset. I remember reading The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott a few years back and it had a similar premise to Unbreak My Heart.

    Seeing as there are flashbacks, scenes in the boat, and all of it happens after the cheating incident, I feel like I'd enjoy Unbreak My Heart, too. It's been too long since I read a book in a sitting anyway.

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    1. Ahh yeah, I remember reading that too!

      I think you'd like this because there's a lot of focus on how good of friends the girls were; none of that painting the BFF as a horrible, selfish person kind of crap. And I liked that the MC didn't make excuses for her behaviour - if anything she was TOO hard on herself!

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  10. Cheating is a tough subject for me, but this one sounds like it tackles the topic very differently. Sounds like a good read. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. I really think it does handle it brilliantly and it never comes across as implying cheating can be acceptable sometimes, which I liked. Because so many books try to make excuses, like cheating can be okay in certain circumstances :/

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