Thu, May 3, 2012

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker Review

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker book cover

Unbreak My Heart
By Melissa Walker
Publication date: May 22, 2012
Bloomsbury USA, 240 pages
Source: Publisher, via NetGalley

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.

— Goodreads.com description

There’s something you should know about me as a reader: I cannot tolerate stories about cheating.

It’s really important for me to have respect for a main character. Some authors purposely make their characters unlikable…and I just can’t do it. I need to relate to them, to cheer for them. So when a main character is a cheater? No. No way. Just something I personally have a hard time looking past.

And in Melissa Walker’s Unbreak My Heart, it’s pretty clear from the get-go that some type of cheating happened, but we don’t know what exactly went down. I mean, the book description says it: Clem fell for her best friend’s boyfriend.

So you’d think I’d hate it, right?

NO! I LOVED THIS BOOK.

What?! I know, right?

I think, for me, part of what I hate about books that tackle cheating is when they let me get invested in a relationship, then – wham! blam! – cheatfest. I HATE that. I feel emotionally manipulated.

I also feel this way when a book ends up secretly being about death. JOHN GREEN, I AM LOOKING AT YOU. I won’t name that book. But in his book The Fault in His Stars? Totally knew that was about death from the get-go, and I loved it.

Same rules apply here, apparently.

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker is not really about the cheating – none of it happens in the present tense. Instead, it’s about Clementine’s struggle to forgive herself and move on and about how her family relates to her during her resulting depression. And I felt myself rooting for her because of this. I also loved how Walker tackled the double-standard in cheating. Why is Clem the outcast one while the boy is immediately taken back and forgiven? Lame.

And, oh, sure, the love story bit and the fact that they were out yachting around America in the summertime helped. I love summer books! I love kissing books! I DOUBLE LOVE kissing in the summer books.

Anyway, cheers to Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker for getting me to step outside my comfort zone and, for once in my life, cheer on the cheater. It helped me grow as a reader, and that’s what good reads are all about.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: cheating, melissa walker, romance
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12 Comments

  1. Kyle @ A Reader’s Pensieve said:

    I’ll definitely be reading this one.My stepdad got a bunch of books for my classroom while at IRA recently, and Unbreak my Heart was one. Think I’ll have to steal it from the kids for a couple days :)
    Kyle @ A Reader’s Pensieve recently posted..Review: Sloppy FirstsMy Profile

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    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  2. Erica said:

    I really am excited to read this one – I’m glad to hear you liked it :)
    Erica recently posted..Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins Book ReviewMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  3. Karen @ Books Beside My Bed said:

    I just reviewed this book too and had some of the same reservations but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a journey book and all about the character.
    Karen @ Books Beside My Bed recently posted..Guest Review from a Mom: 50 Shades of Grey ReactionMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  4. Sash from Sash and Em said:

    Can’t wait to read this one. It’s waiting for me on my kindle :)
    Sash from Sash and Em recently posted..Why I Enjoyed The Chaos Walking Trilogy More Than The Hunger Games TrilogyMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  5. Win-It Wednesday: Unbreak My Heart ARC | Melissa Walker said:

    [...] ♥ ”Unbreak My Heart challenged me as a reader…and I loved every bit of it.” -Anna Reads [...]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  6. Magan @ Rather Be Reading said:

    Hi twin buddy! Your review = so good. There was so much I wanted to say about this book.. that can’t be said… ya know, because it takes away from the reader’s personal experience. BUT, I <3 Melissa Walker. This book was wonderful. I will be buying myself a finished copy!
    Magan @ Rather Be Reading recently posted..Magan: World Book Night RecapMy Profile

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    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  7. Lori said:

    I don’t usually like books about cheating as well. Now you have me very curious about this one!
    Lori recently posted..Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntireMy Profile

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  8. Reut said:

    I restrained myself from requesting this one on NetGalley but it seems so sweet! I love the summer yachting aspect. Nice review!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  9. Jasmine Rose said:

    I’m so glad to hear this one was a hit for you! I recently won an ARC from Melissa so now I’m super excited to get to it :]
    Jasmine Rose recently posted..Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook {Review}My Profile

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    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  10. brandileigh2003 said:

    Books on cheating are hard, I agree, but I ended up loving this one too.
    Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  11. Unbreak My Heart Melissa C. Walker Book Review said:

    [...] Anna Reads – “helped me grow as a reader” [...]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

  12. Review: Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker said:

    [...] ● Anna @ Anna Reads wrote “Cheers to Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker for getting me to step outside my comfort zone and, for once in my life, cheer on the cheater. It helped me grow as a reader, and that’s what good reads are all about.” (Read the rest of the review Here!) [...]

    Posted on: Thu, May 3, 2012

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