Unbreak My Heart
By Melissa C. Walker
May 22, 2012
Reviewed: e-book (Netgalley)
What a lovely beach read UNBREAK MY HEART would be… The length is perfect for a day in the sun, as you listen to the waves and imagine yourself relaxing on the same summer boat trip that Clementine and her family have embarked on.
Clem’s summer boat vacation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She starts out the trip with a horrible weight on her shoulders, no friends and a really, really bad attitude. The events that led up to her current state are alternately described along with the events that occur during her summer boat trip. All in all, the build up and the boat trip provide an introspective plot that any fan of Sarah Dessen, Luanne Rice and Kristen Hannah would enjoy. And you get to spend most of it on a leisurely boat trip over, who wouldn’t enjoy a setting like that? Albeit, your company is a character who is fairly down in the dumps for most of the trip, but still…
Despite her attitude, I highly enjoyed the voice that the character, Clem, brought to the story. She and her friends behaved like fairly average teenagers. All the way from her snide remarks, her split second temper tantrums, to her feelings about… boys. Seeing as Clem spends most of the book on a boat, we are kept within fairly close quarters to the rest of her family. This allows the reader to get to know them quite well. (Her little sister is such a doll.) The motley crew of additional characters, including red-headed, freckle faced, James, his father and an elderly couple who really need to learn how to use sun block, provide added depth to an otherwise small cast of characters. And James, oh what a sweetie he is.
My only gripe about the book is that, other than revealing the events of the past year bit by bit, nothing seems to happen for a large part of the book. What I mean that Clem’s emotional plot is at a stand still for much of the book, as she simply goes about her life on the boat and we learn about her past. Masochist as I apparently am, I was secretly hoping that more horrible things would be revealed about the character, Clem, and her past deeds. I suppose I expected more… drama. This is a small gripe, since I think that the light-hearted events that do occur ultimately keep the story “anchored” to reality. And sometimes it’s nice to just sit down and read a book that’s based more on reality and not drowning in over-the-top drama.
So hoist your anchor, my friends, and don’t forget the sunblock! If you plan to hit the beach or take a nice long boating vacation of your own this summer, be sure to add Unbreak My Heart to your stack of on-deck or beach-side reading. It’s a great book to immerse yourself in for a handful of hours.