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.
Unbreak My Heart is a charming read that is perfect for the summertime! Clementine (adorable name!) is a 16 year old girl who is embarking on a summer-long boating trip with her family after a tumultuous end to her sophomore year in High School. Clementine made the mistake of falling for her best friend’s boyfriend.
What I love the most about this story is how relatable it is. I think it is pretty typical for young girls to sometimes fall for the boyfriends or crushes of their close friends. I went through it as well in high school. It sucks for all parties and often times you can be ostracized for it. I remember quite vividly how that feels. So here we get a book from the perspective of ‘that girl’. Clementine’s regret and shame were felt through the pages. I truly wanted to hug her and tell her to have faith her friendship with her friend would survive, in time. We really don’t know the extent of what happened right away, but we get alternating chapters between the present time on the boat and the past view of how Clementine’s friendship with her best friend’s boyfriend, Ethan, started to blur the lines. At first I have to say I liked Ethan. I thought he and Clem had a connection to each other. They liked the same movies and books and really got along. But as we get closer to finding out how everything went down, I started to hate him. Like really hate him. Wanting to go through the pages and punch this kid, hate him. The little snot knew what he was doing, and I was angry for the two girls being used like that.
But this story wasn’t all heavy, I promise! I think the family dynamic on the boating trip is one of the best I’ve read. Her parents were the amazing kind you rarely get to see in contemporary fiction, it seems. They knew just how to be supportive enough for their daughter but give her space when she needed it. Often times we get stories where the parents aren’t around or very present in the storyline, but with this one they are front and center and I found it refreshing. Her little sister Olive was adorable as well! The typical 10 year old who wanted to do everything with her sister.
Now while on this family boat trip, in pops up James, a sweet red-headed boy who taught Clem what was real. This boy was so, so very sweet! He was a great bright light to lighten up Clementine’s dark mood.
Okay so I cannot leave this review without mentioning the corning boat names in the book! I laughed so hard when this discussion came up! Since I usually steer clear of large bodies of water, I have never heard boat names such as ‘Nauti Girl’, ‘Knotty Boy’, or ‘Fox-Sea Lady’. LOL Hilarious!
Though this book touches upon real issues, it is a pretty light and fun read!
4 out of 5!