You can't help who you fall in love with. It's a lesson Clementine Williams knows all too well. She's headed into the summer with a broken heart and zero social life. So even though her parents' plan to spend the summer (trapped) on their sailboat should make Clem break out in hives, she doesn't really mind the chance to float away for a while. Even if it means most of her social interaction will be with her nine-year-old sister. Then she meets James at one of their stops on the Great Loop-a classic sailing track in the US. He and his dad are sailing the same track and he's just the distraction Clem needs. But will he be able to 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 from magazine writer/editor and rising star, Melissa Walker.
Walker (Small Town Sinners) brings honest, heartfelt storytelling to the tale of 16-year-old Clementine, who's embarking on a summer boat trip with her parents while leaving a ravaged social life behind. As her family sails along the Midwestern river portion of the Great Loop, Clem agonizes over the events that led to her fall from grace. The story emerges slowly, and what could have been a familiar retelling of a girl falling for her best friend's boyfriend becomes something new and complex, as Clem reveals more of what took place. Early on in the trip, Clem meets James, a boy who's also traveling the Great Loop and whose cheerful demeanor covers his own painful background. Their love story is pleasingly romantic, though it's Clem's relationship with her parents and younger sister, Olive, that are the core of the story, as they work to support Clem through this difficult time in her life. Clem's breakthrough is satisfying and true, as is the ending that brings Clem home, but leaves open what will happen next. Ages 12 up.