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Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Unbreak My Heart – Melissa Walker

Every girl should know Rule #1 of the Girl Code: Don’t EVER date your best friend’s crush, boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. Ever. Under any circumstances. These things never end well, and really, who should be more important in your life – your bestie or your lustie? Exactly.

Unfortunately, Unbreak My Heart’s Clementine skipped that page in the Girl Code Rule Book…or tore it out. Y’see, when the book opens, we find Clem in exile on a boat with her family for the summer. Her parents love sailing, especially taking six weeks off in the summer to do a circuit up the eastern coast. After the disastrous past few months of her life, Clem begrudgingly agrees to go with her parents and younger sister, Olive, on the trip to escape the mess she’s made of her life at home. It’s not like she has any friends left there anyway…

Friendship rewind. Amanda is Clem’s girl soulmate. They’ve been friends for forever, each family’s adopted daughter, and neither can imagine ever doing anything to hurt the other one’s feelings in any way…that is, until Amanda starts dating Ethan their sophomore year of high school. Like a good friend, Clem is genuinely happy that her BFF has found such a cool guy to have for a boyfriend, but as Clem and Ethan start to spend more time together through her friendship with Amanda, they also become drawn to each other. Clem and Ethan discover they share the same tastes in indie movies and music, and Clem even goes so far as to make a mix CD for Ethan. Girrrs, you know a mix CD is just a ‘Press Play’ away from a hookup. When Amanda discovers the unlabeled CD and quizzes Clem as to who the lucky guy is, Clem lies and realizes she’s driving down a dangerous road. Destination? Cheatersville. But does she stop and turn that car around? Oh no.

Over the course of her travels at sea, we get to know Clem and the story behind her break-up with her best friend. Walker does an excellent job, without being preachy, of exploring the fracturing of a friendship between two girls when one convinces herself it’s okay to go for her own happiness over that of her friend’s…because isn’t that how these things get started? What’s more, no one is harder on Clem in the aftermath of the break-up of the friendship than Clem herself. Losing her best friend is like a death to her. As hard as her family tries, they can’t seem to cheer her. Even the cute redhead she meets at sea named James, who’s doing the same sailing route but with his dad, does his best to charm her with Mitch Hedburg jokes and Elliott Smith songs, but seemingly to no avail until Clem can learn to forgive herself and seek forgiveness from her friend.

This kind of drama goes on ALL THE TIME with girls, which is what makes it such an awesome read – especially for girls who have been hurt by their supposed best friends OR girls who were the ones who did the hurting. In addition to five other Y.A. books, Walker has written articles for both Seventeen and ELLEgirl magazines, so chick knows her girl dramaz. To learn more about Walker and her other books, visit http://www.melissacwalker.com/ .

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