Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley: Book Review

WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley Book Review
Publication Date: February 8th 2011 by HarperTeen
Rating: – Acceptable |

Book Summary: 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.

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley Book Review Overview:

  • Corrinne is initially tough to like, but we are warned as a reader
  • The ending was unsatisfying
  • More of a coming of age than a contemporary romance

The author warns us from the very beginning: Corrinne is going to be quite annoying when we start reading WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley. Corrinne has it all: she’s got the perfect life in New York City and she is just about to start school at an elite boarding school in the fall. Then everything goes wrong. Corrinne’s dad is hit by the recession and he loses his job. And naturally, Corrinne is an awful brat about it. Instead of trying to cope with the drastic changes, Corrinne becomes nothing but a big pain in the butt. But thankfully, Corrinne undergoes a believable transformation in WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley from rich spoiled brat to a mature, understanding 16-year-old. Corrinne does not just wake up one morning realizing how horribly she has been acting. Heasley takes her through various character-building obstacles in WHERE I BELONG that eventually make her into a better and mature person.

Like most novels that take place in the South, I have to just give a shout-out to the mouth-watering descriptions of food that Heasley included. Oh my god, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. I want cupcakes and basically everything that Corrinne’s grandmother had cooked in the book.

Furthermore, I do like the fact that WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley targets the economic crisis of the recession. It reminds me of another book I read recently, PERFECT YOU by Elizabeth Scott, which also talks about a family’s financial strains.

The ending was a bit of a disappointment to be honest. By the time I got to the last page, I thought, After all that, that’s it?! The author tries to make readers feel hopeful that though it is the end of the book, it is just the beginning of a new chapter in Corrinne’s life. I see the author’s intent, but I can’t get myself to accept it.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy contemporary, but I would warn readers that this is more about a character’s personal growth and less about romance as the cover would lead you to believe. Furthermore, fans of Elizabeth Scott will probably enjoy this book.

Other Book Reviews:
Book Faery
Unputdownable Books

About the Author

Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on a second novel for Harper Collins.

Find the Author

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  1. I wish it were more contemporary romance instead of a coming of age story, I may give it a shot somewhere in the future, but it sounds like it’d be disappointing. Especially with the misleading cover.

  2. The cover really looked so cute, but after your review I’m quite sure that I won’t enjoy this book. Hm. Well, it’s not like there aren’t dozens of other books you made me want to read, so.. :’D

    1. Well if you’re looking for romance, don’t bother with this one. I’m sure that there are other adult contemporary country stories that do a far better job than this.

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