Monday, April 11, 2011

WHERE I BELONG by Gwendolyn Heasley

Title: WHERE I BELONG
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Number of Pages: 289
Source of Book: Bought the paperback
Author's Website: www.gwendolynheasley.com

Goodreads Summary:
Meet Corinne. 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 Corinne'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.

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So...I didn't love it, but I liked it (and a few of my students have already read it and really liked it).This is a really light-hearted book that's not too deep and a little predictable, but it's entertaining. It's a familiar storyline - city girl out of her element in the country learns to like the people and not be so shallow and becomes more likable in the end. I think my biggest struggle was that I really didn't like Corinne throughout much of the book - and I find it tough to get through a book where I don't like the main character, even if I know that they're going to come around in the end (although, Corinne's letter to the reader at the start of the book warns that you're not going to like her very much - cute idea!). And I did really like where Corinne ended up at the end of the book. I do think this book has the potential to become dated pretty quickly because there are a lot of brand names and pop culture references thrown in throughout the book and they're very current right now. I also thought it wrapped up pretty fast - I was finally liking Corinne and where she was headed, so I wanted a little more of the story with her at that point.

It was a fun book with the Texas themed stuff and the small town setting. One of the best parts of the book was the secondary characters - I loved the little brother, new best friend, the jock boy who we're not sure about in the beginning, etc. I thought they were the most entertaining part. It's a little stereotypical, but it's exactly what you might be looking for in this kind of book - and it delivers for that expectation. There were two main themes for this book that hit home with me: "The company you keep is the most important part of life." and love is "the ability to go away and to come back again as if nothing has changed even though everything has changed." Those two ideals are something Corinne has to learn and the reader enjoys her journey getting there.

3 STARS for WHERE I BELONG
Book 8 of 12 for DAC 2011

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