Jun 2, 2011

Review: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Title: Where I Belong
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2.8.2011
Pages: 289
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No

Rating: C

Summary (from Goodreads):
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 picked up this book while trying to kill time in my local library. I remember thinking it looked good and I wanted to read it, so why not? I sat down and proceeded to read through the first 100 pages without really wanting to stop.

Here’s the thing: You’ve seen the plot before. Gwendolyn Heasley plays it on the safe side, keeping the plot completely predicable. Rich girl suddenly a poor girl and exiled into a (to her) hellish, sub-par way of living that she ultimately finds has transformed her into a better human being. Yes, it is cliché and yes, it has been done, but there’s a reason stories like this one work: People love to think that other people can be redeemed the way Corrinne is going to be. I can appreciate the lesson in it, and the comfortable familiarity with the plot. It’s a sweet tale, but there are flaws.

I found the wording to be incorrect. I don’t know any teenager who always says “I am.” Nearly everyone uses the contraction “I’m.” I could probably count the contractions used in this book with both hands. And while I get that that may seem nit-picky, I’m a word whore and notice these things. I also wasn’t a fan of the ending of the book. It leaves too much open and unanswered. Kind of felt like the end of a rollercoaster (the one with only a lap bar and some hills, not a harness and upside-down loops) where the rider is jerked to a stop with a squeal of the brakes. I turned the last page and muttered, “That was it?”

The biggest redeeming quality in this book is not the main character, but the girl who ultimately becomes her best friend, Kitsy. Kitsy was a fun, energetic character who get dealt a lot of crappy cards growing up. She has an alcoholic mother that is the source of much whispering in a small town, but Kitsy never let it bring her down. She totally infused life into the story, so much so that I wanted to be reading a novel about Kitsy and not Corrinne. Kitsy was the girl who needed her own book, not Corrinne.

This book is a decent book. It’s not spectacular, but it’s also not a painful read. I breezed through it in an afternoon. It’s the kind of book you read in between stellar novels to give you a moment to rest and not have to think. It’s a book I definitely recommend you check out from your library, but I’d read it first before purchasing.


  1. I've heard similar things from other people about this one. I think I'll check it out at some point, but I haven't made an effort yet to put it on hold at the library or anything. Thanks for your thoughts. =)

  2. Interesting review. I just borrowed this from my local libray and am getting ready to read it. Now I'm a bit worried about the ending!


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