8-where-i-belong

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3.5
Rating: Enjoyable

Meet Corrinne. She’s living every girl’s dream in New York City–shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne’s father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she’s stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she’s supposed to be living. She doesn’t care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.–before the recession–was as perfect as it seemed.

I have had Where I Belong on my Kindle for the longest time, and I am so glad to have finally been able to get to it. I’m pretty sure I bought it at the end of 2011, so that means it’s been sitting unread for a year and a half. I have a book buying problem, I know.

I was in the mood for a light contemporary to read after I had finished two books in twenty four hours for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, and while Where I Belong wasn’t as light and fluffy as I was expecting, it was great to take a break and dive into this.

What I really liked about Where I Belong was that it was light on the romance. Sure, Corrinne plans on using a guy to get back to New York, but that doesn’t take over the plot, which focussed on Corrinne’s relationship with her family. I love family-centric contemporaries!

Corrinne was bloody annoying at first. If you’re going to read this then you’re likely to despise her to begin with. I hated her and the way she treated her mother and her grandparents. Gradually, though, she began to improve, and then her best friend from New York – Waverly – turns up to show just how much Corrinne has changed.

Corrinne’s family is adorable and lovely. Her brother is so sweet, her grandparents are strict but kind and loving, and her mother definitely improves throughout the book. I loved all of them, and I loved the side characters. Except for Waverly, but even she grew on me. I don’t know what it is, but I think that the author has a way with characters. I ended up liking even the worst ones.

The ending made me cry, which really shows how much I managed to connect with these characters. I felt like I was part of their little family in Texas. I’m glad I wasn’t around anyone as I was finishing this, because that would have been embarrassing.

Where I Belong definitely would have received another half-star, bumping it up to four, if it hadn’t ended the way it did. It felt like all of the hard work that had gone into the rest of the book was thrown away at the end, and everything basically rewound. It didn’t make much sense to me.

I’d recommend Where I Belong if you’re looking for a short and quick read. It’s set in Texas, so I would say read it when it’s sunny out, so then you feel like you’re there with Corrinne and dying in the Texan heat. Or maybe you don’t want to feel that way, I don’t know. Definitely give this a go, though, and don’t expect it to blow your mind. It was pretty great, nonetheless.

3 comments on “Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

  1. Judith May 4, 2013 3:12 pm

    I really love books where families play an important part, so that sounds good. Despite the fact that you didn’t like the MC at first, I’m glad she improved and that you ended up enjoying this one. Maybe I have to check it out!

  2. Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews May 4, 2013 6:22 pm

    If you really liked this one, I definitely recommend the companion novel, A Long Way From You. It’s actually about Kitsy, Corinne’s friend.

    I agree that Heasley’s books look way lighter a fluffier than they actually are. But while she’s able to tackle some issues, it’s not overwhelming or depressing like it sometimes can be.

  3. Emily ReadYourBookcase May 4, 2013 11:36 pm

    I agree with Bekka – A Long Way from You is really good. I like Kitsy a lot more than Corrinne.

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