I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Also by this author: Don't Call Me Baby
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-02-08
Genres: Adolescence, New Experience, Social Issues, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon
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 wish more YA books were set in small towns in the south. Although I did not grow up in the south, I did grow up in a small town. The varsity football game was a big deal. Our parents didn’t go on business trips or anything, so you had to party in a field. Express was considered ‘designer’.
Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley does a fabulous job of conveying the better side of small-town spirit. Sure, small towns get a bad rap because of unsophistication and looking down on outsiders. But not all small towns are like that. Anyways, Corrinne is a rich girl from Manhattan. She has her own credit card, is going to boarding school and has a horse. Her dad pulls in six figures a year. She’s pretty spoiled and has no clue about EconomyFAIL. Anyways, she gets a call from her mom saying there’s a family emergency. Turns out her dad has lost his high powered job, the family has no money AND they are relocating to Broken Spoke, Texas.
What follows, essentially is city mouse going all country. AND I LOVE IT. I would find Corrinne’s privilege a little hard to take, but she’s actually really funny and kind of reminds me of myself. For instance, she says what is on her mind and is very forthright. Corrinne is always being told to remember her filter, or think before she speaks. Also, she does do some stupid things. However, the girl has heart, and you can see that she genuinely cares.
Plus, there is slight romance, but that doesn’t undermine the story, as Where I Belong is basically focused on Corrinne, and her change of heart. Plus, okay very slight spoiler highlight to read: I was reading an interview that came with my copy of the book and Heasley was talking about why Corrinne doesn’t end up in a serious relationship. Basically Heasley says she doesn’t because she didn’t want the story to be about the relationship, but about Corrinne’s evolving character. Well, it was along those lines.
Also, the writing is a lot better than I had expected. Sure, Corrinne says annoyingly teenager things, but she’s a teen. ALSO the author is mad young, like my age. And well, I’ve been burned by younger authors before, so of course I was nervous. BUT, guys, this one isn’t terrible at all.
If you are looking for sarcasm, a well done small town, and country boys and girls getting down on the farm, check out Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley.