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?

I always have a weakness for books by Sarah Dessen or Deb Caletti, they are light, yet powerful. When I first heard the buzz about Unbreak My Heart, I kept hearing that Walker’s newest book was similar I was intrigued. I’ve only ever read Small Town Sinners, but I really enjoyed it.

Clementine is bitter and unhappy, she’s decided that everyone that matters hates her, so she might as well sulk. Clem knows she screwed up and ruined her friendships and she knows how/why, but at the same she doesn’t really get it. Clem isn’t perfect, she’s a teenage girl who fell for the wrong guy. Having been in a similar situation as Clem as a teen, I can’t help but feel for her. He was charming, his comments and actions were beyond innocent, but alas it’s always the girl’s fault. So, she’s been exiled by her friends.

Now she’s stuck with her family on a sailboat all summer. All she really wants to do is read her books and be lazy at home. Then comes along James. Oh, how I love James! He’s this happy-go-lucky guy who does his best to stay upbeat, despite his own troubles. He’s adorable and one of the few boys in YA that isn’t a bit “bad boy”.

I love how beautifully Walker manages to capture Clem’s life using alternating chapters to flash back to the past. To be honest, I went into Unbreak My Heart thinking it’d be just a pure YA contemporary romance, but it’s an exploration of family, friends, and what’s right and wrong.

I received my copy of Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker in exchange for my honest opinion.

Heads up: When I was looking for the synopsis for this book, I came across this great contest/giveaway opportunity on Facebook! It’s ages 10 to 23. Letters Inside Out is not affiliated, but I thought some of my readers might be interested! Check it out on the Bloomsbury Teen‘s Facebook page. Good luck! (If you aren’t between those ages, check it out to see their playlist for the book, also linked on the page.)