Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Released: February 08, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 304, Paperback
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. Synopsis via Goodreads.
Gwendolyn Heasley brought to life the social differences of the New York Elite and Small Town Texans in Where I Belong. Those from the high rises of New York and those from the football stands of small town Texas. In one corner we had Corrine, our spoiled, rich, and demanding main character from New York. In another corner we had Bubby, Kitsy, and the grandparents Corrine had no relationship with from Texas. Can you imagine the cultural and social differences already?
More times then not I find no common ground with main characters like Corrine who live in their own world of red-bottomed Louboutins and no-limit credit cards but something about Corrine stood out beyond the rest. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely could not stand her at first but quickly found myself rooting on her evolution from blingy-big-city-girl to bedazzled-country-gal. She wasn't a flat character and her hidden character proved that.
Obviously, Corrine wasn't the only character I met in Where I Belong. In Where I Belong, I was presented with a wide cast of characters who all played their parts well from New York Socialite to Rodeo-ish Cheerleader-thing to Cowboy Football Stud. Even their names fit them perfectly. Waverly, the New York b.f.f. Kitsy, the stereotypical Texas Cheerleader and Bubby, the good-guy football player. Let's not forget Rider, the I'm-too-good-for-Texas bad boy who Corrine found herself attracted to if for nothing other then his good looks, the title of musician and the fact he felt how Corrine felt about Texas, at least at first. Then there was the little brother, who did his job well. The parents and grandparents who helped form Corrine's story and also heal alongside her.
While the romantic aspect of this novel was no where near the forefront and held a rather small part, the story gave us a great foundation for what could become a true and accepting love. The possible budding romance between the cowboy and the city girl took acceptance and understanding from both sides and while it wasn't the reason Corrine let herself become vested in the place her mother once called home it was sure a great, open ended reward.
Charming characters, a trip to New York and to small-town Texas, Gwendolyn gave us a great read about acceptance, growth, friendship and a little bit of love.
On the Cover: Isn't it just too cute? Seriously, that is the first thing that attracted me to this book. I saw that cover and knew I had to have it. I just knew it had to have a cute story behind it. The color contrast is great and the picture can tell a story all its own.