Monday, April 23, 2012

"Unbreak My Heart" (ARC) ~ Melissa Walker

Unbreak My Heart

Author: Melissa Walker
Publication: May 22, 2012
By: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source: Netgalley
4 Stars!

Buoy, is this a good read and such a pretty cover.  Definitely knot one you want to miss.  (See what I did there? If naut, you will...) 

Lifelong friendship, true love, the ultimate betrayal, and crushing heartbreak. "Unbreak My Heart" has it all, reminding us that while you may be able to choose your friends, you can't necessarily choose who you fall in love with or help who gets hurt in the process.  

Sixteen year old Clementine, or Clem was supposed to have the best summer EVER with Amanda, her BFF since kindergarten but all that changed at the end of Sophomore year.  Now, she's spending the entire three months at sea with her family aboard their boat, "The Possibility".  Here she'll be subjected to their overenthusiastic nautical attitudes (Ahoy Matey!) and their sympathetic eyes that tell her, "Everything will be OK."  If they only knew... 
Clem would love nothing more than to stay locked in her stateroom all summer where she can listen to sad music while flipping through her journal that replays everything that's happened over the past few months.  Going above deck and interacting with her family or anyone else for that matter doesn't hold any interest for her but may be exactly what she needs to help heal her broken heart.   

She's spent most of her time reliving the last year and wondering what, if anything she could've changed.  She and Amanda have been friends forever and she would never do anything to purposely hurt her.  Clem never expected to fall for Ethan but he was her friend too and everything seemed to be fine, until it wasn't.  Until their conversations seemed to be more comfortable, their chats lasting longer than they should.  Clem knows she should've put an end to things and she did tried once or twice but should she have tried harder?  Could she have even if she wanted too?  It doesn't matter now because once Amanda found out, Clem was the one everyone hated.  She was treated as if it was all her fault, even Ethan came out looking like a victim though he played as much a part in it as she did.  How is THAT even fair?!  

So, here she is stuck on this stupid boat with her family all.summer.long. with nothing to do but pine away for what she's lost.  The tides begin to change when they make their first marina stop and Clem and her sister Olive head into the dock deli for snacks.  It's there that they bump into James (literally) a tall red-headed boy with eyes as blue as the water and a great sense of humor.  Seems he's spending his summer on a boat with his dad and they're following the same route as Clem and her family are.  (Hmm, maybe the summer won't be so bad after all.)  James is funny, sweet and he's kind to all the ladies, young and old alike. *swoon*  He's also an artist who captures the realness of Clem in his very first sketch of her.  He always seems to be in an good mood no matter what which is kinda irritating to Clem at first but his smile makes cracking one herself virtually unavoidable.

As James and Clem get to know each other, at their many marina stops, dock delis and dingy rides, she begins to gain a new focus on all that's happened to her recently.  James can sense the sadness in Clem but she's reluctant to tell him what it is for fear that he'll think she's an awful person (like she's convinced herself she is).  She enjoys spending time with him, realizing that he's helping to heal the broken pieces of her heart by reminding her of what's "real".  So when Clem finally musters up the nerve to tell James everything that's she's done and he grows distant she wonders if her heart break all over again?

"Unbreak My Heart" is about a girl who follows her heart and in the process loses more than just herself.  Her feelings of guilt overwhelm her at times and blind her to the good that still exists within her.  But with the help of her family and a few new friends, she not only finds her way back to who she is but she also discovers that what matters most in life, what's right in front of you, is what's real.  

*Personal Thoughts/Potential Spoilers:
*Clem's parents and Olivia do their best to support her, pointing out that while she made a mistake, she's not entirely to blame and that if her friends are truly her friends they will stick by her through this.  They are patient with her and supportive, reminding her of "who" she is to them. I LOVED that about them!  *sniff*
*Her dad also explains that at sixteen, no one "belongs" to anyone which is so true.
*James - Oh, James... I *hearts* him!
*Ethan (not sure how I feel about him...) He was just as much to blame as Clem was for not putting a stop to what was developing between them and it wasn't fair AT ALL that she was the only one vilified but that's how high school is unfortunately. 
*Amanda seemed a little self centered to me.  The fact that she took Ethan back without even hearing Clem's side was so not fair.  

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