Written by Gwendolyn Heasley
Published February, 2011 by HarperTeen
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance
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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’m so pleased to have discovered this gem of a YA contemporary. Where I Belong is sweet and a complete page-turner with a lot of heart.
First of all I have to say the cover is very misleading. Before I started this book (and a good few chapters in) I was expecting something of a sweet love story between a city girl and a country guy. Although done to death I was pretty much excited to dive right in because I haven’t read one of these before. Instead, I found myself frowning and trying to work out just WHO was going to be Corrinne’s love interest.
First we have Bubby; the football player who Corrinne originally disregards as potential boyfriend material. She had me believing it, too! I completely shut Bubby out of the race, thinking ‘okay he can’t be the love interest because he doesn’t fit the guy on the cover!’ Then we meet Rider, the sexy farmhand Corrinne meets when starting work for Ginger, and I think ‘Okay, here’s the love story and guy on the cover!’ Then Rider’s appeal took a complete nose dive when he turned out to be a total douchebag!
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, this is not a story about finding love in unlikely places. Well, not love with another person, anyway. It’s about discovering yourself and adopting a new set of values and a better attitude. It’s about Corrinne’s struggle to adjust to a new way of life, and her realization that it may just be a little better than the life she had before. Even if the place doesn’t even have a Starbucks.
Where I Belong is a great read – one that had me devouring it within two nights. I picked it up in hopes of an enjoyable contemporary and got just that. I’m so glad I wasn’t dissappointed. Despite the lack of a forerunning love story, Corrinne’s journey manages to entertain. Gwendolyn Heasley’s characters are incredibly realistic – a welcome change. I particularly liked Kitsy, the Broken Spoke Mockingbirdette.
There’s also a great amount of laughs – from Rider’s movie-montage appearance to Corrinne’s realisation her once wore bejewelled – or ‘bedazzled’ – clothes!
Recommended to: Fans of contemporary fiction will enjoy this one, however don’t let the cover fool you into believing it’s primarily a love story. I highly recommend Where I Belong!