Book: WHERE I BELONG
Author: GWENDOLYN HEASLEY
Genre: CONTEMPORARY YA
Published: February 2011, HARPERTEEN
Source: Publicist, no other compensation given for an honest review
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.
So, I'll start off by saying that I'm not totally in love with the books that feature rich bitch socialite girls, NY or otherwise. But, something struck me as different about WHERE I BELONG, even before I had the book in my hand. Just through reading the blurb, and yes, the cover had a little something to do with it too, I saw something that I really wanted to read, and I am so glad that I accepted this book for review.
Gwendoyln Heasley is a debut author that took her own cue from the recession, and wrote just about one of the sweetest YA books (contemporary, too!) that I've read in a long while. Corrinne is one of those NY socialites that spends her time spending money. Until, she has to move to Texas to live with her grandparents, as part of her parents "reorganization" scheme. Right away she has to deal with the separation from her parents, acclimating to a whole different world, and reassessing her views on life.
This is what I liked about the book: It's not heavy-handed on Corrinne having to change. Heasley peppers in off-hand comments and thoughts from Corrinne about what she might have been doing back home, and the differences in Prada versus Charlotte Russe, but this girl is still a likeable character. From the moment that she gobbles up her grandmother's pancakes, and admits that they are delicious, I could tell that WHERE I BELONG was going to be more than a simple rich girl turned poor story.
4.5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4/5 for language
My Rating: 13/15 (stars)
Highly Recommend, if you liked:
Songs for a Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson
Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales
Seers of Light by Jennifer DeLucy
Links for the author and books:
* Barnes and Noble
Available formats: Print (Trade Paperback), E-Book