Book Review: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Corrinne lives a charmed life. Her parents own a posh apartment in NYC and a house on Nantucket. She has credit cards galore and goes out for sushi and (illegal) drinks with her best buds almost nightly. She plans to attend an exclusive boarding school in the fall and life is generally wonderful for cynical, whiny Corrinne.

Really, she is a little hard to like at first. But, when her life's station falls dramatically after the collapse of the economy and once her parents find that they've fallen victim to a Ponzi scheme, Corrinne joins the real world and becomes a much more human. But, it doesn't happen quickly. First, her whole life as she knows it has to disintegrate and crumble before her very eyes. This includes: the sale of the apartment, her father moving to Dubai, and Corrinne and her brother moving to Texas in order to live with her very Texan grandparents. Even worse, no more private school, no more sushi, no more credit, no more friends.

What she does find in Texas is lots of hot weather, twangy accents, public schools filled with (gasp!) public school students, and food with lots and lots of carbs. Basically, she's on an alien planet.

With the help of some of the locals, though, Corrinne adjusts. It takes time, but she is nothing if not a survivor. And, the fact that the town is home to a couple of extremely hot guys (see book cover) does not hurt matters.

Corrinne is truly a round character. I love her for this. Even as she's complaining and melting down, she has an endearing quality to her story. We can al identify, I'm sure, with having to change our habits after the recession hit. I know I have. I haven't had to move to Texas, but I have had to give up some of the extras. And I know how hard but ultimately rewarding this has been for me. By the end of the book, I was super proud of Corrinne and respected her as a person.

This is not a heavy book or one that's full of mystery and intrigue. You basically know what's going to happen throughout. But, it doesn't really matter. Because debut author Gwendolyn Heasley isn't really trying to develop an entirely new character, but improving on the existing character archetype. I think it's pretty successful in it's attempt at romance and realistic characters. I can't wait to pass it on to some of my romance-loving, cowboy-wanting teen students!