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young adult book reviews & more

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

This summer was supposed to be the best summer of Clem’s life, but when she falls for her best friend’s boyfriend and said best friend refuses to speak to her, the summer is looking pretty gloomy. That’s why she doesn’t put up much of a fight when her parents get the bright idea to spend their entire summer on their sailboat. Maybe being surrounded by only her parents and her little sister Olive will be good for her, since they’re the only people who seem to still like her. Clem has resigned herself to a summer of wallowing and self-punishment until she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. Like Clem’s family, James and his father are sailing the river for the summer, and something about James and his unwavering cheerfulness is getting to Clem, in the best way. Maybe, with James’s help, Clem might find the strength to forgive herself and heal her broken heart.

Unbreak My Heart is a sweet and touching summery read from a favorite author of mine. I loved the fun premise of Walker’s Violet on the Runway series as well as her more contemplative look at personal faith in Small Town Sinners, and I immensely enjoyed all of those books. Unbreak My Heart falls somewhere in the middle of those books as a thoughtful twist on a lighthearted summer story. By alternating the story between reflections on the school year where everything went wrong and the summer after, readers get a generous glimpse into a girl who’s struggling to be a good friend and still be true to herself. Walker has this girl’s voice perfectly through Clem’s character, and this really brings Clem, her memories, and her struggles to get past them to life. I love how Walker ends the story on an open yet hopeful note, though I wish there were more interaction between Clem, her best friend Amanda, and Amanda’s boyfriend Ethan after the whole debacle to clear up the drama. Despite this, Unbreak My Heart is still a wonderful love story, personal journey, and summer read.

Unbreak My Heart will be enjoyed by fans of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, Stay by Deb Caletti, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen, and Sixteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from NetGalley

2 munch(es) :

fakesteph said...

I've had Small Town Sinners on my kindle for months and am excited to read this one too! I think I'm going to read this one outside on my deck since I don't have a pool to sit next to this summer. :(

sarabara081 said...

This sounds like such a beautiful story! I am looking very forward to reading it soon! I was lucky enough to snag a copy and have it signed by the author over the weekend which makes me even more happy to read such great reviews for it! :)

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