Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Corrine has it made. She spends her days shopping in New York’s highest end shops while her nights are spent surrounded by friends in the trendiest restaurants. Her life is seemingly perfect, and why shouldn’t it be? Hasn’t her father worked hard to ensure she gets everything she’s ever wanted – whether her own horse or a spot at the hottest boarding schools on the East Coast.
Corrinne really is in her own world. Sure she knows that many people aren’t lucky enough to be her. Sure she knows that the economy is plummeting downhill. Sure she knows that a recession has hit, and is affecting almost everyone. But these things don’t affect her.
That is, until her hard-working father tells her that he’s made some bad investments and that they’ve lost everything. And if things couldn’t get any worse, her and her younger brother are being shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas – the small town her mother grew up in and ran away from as fast as she could.
Sentenced to living with two grandparents she barely knows, she’s forced to do things she never imagined: doing chores, eating calorie-filled food, getting a job, and worst of all attending public school.
Little by Little Corrinne starts to make a life for herself. Sure it’s not the life she imagined, but it’s a life all the same. It’s a life filled with struggles and laughs, budding friendships and even romances. Before she knows it, Corrinne really figures out where she belongs.
Where I Belong is author Gwendolyn Heasley’s debut novel. It’s an endearing read that will make capture reader’s attention and hearts.
Heasley’s writing drips with charm. And surprisingly intrigue. Through her strong writing and well crafted plotline, readers will have a vested interest in Corrinne’s outcome. Will she remain the snobby Manhattanite? Or will be she the rough and tough girl who oozes Southern charm, grace, and manners?
What really brought Where I Belong to life were the complex characters who have some truly one of a kind names. Takes Kitsy for example. From the outside she appears to be just another over-bubbly Mockingbirdette. On the inside though she’s a talented artist with a strong sense of familial responsibility, and an even stronger sense of self.
And of course there’s Corrinne, Where I Belong’s heroine. She’s a memorable character that reader’s with hesitantly love. Even at her worst, she’s a great character. Often times, in not so obvious ways, she reminded me of Cinderella – in the sense of transformation. At the beginning she was ugly on the inside – materialistic, bratty, full of herself – but with the help of great family, true friends, she really does transform in front of our eyes. By the end she’s beautiful, on the inside as well as the outside.
Besides being realistic, Where I Belong is a really fun book. Heasley has filled it with memorable one lines that shed light on the characters and the plot. These one liners will make readers laugh out loud. Personally my all time favorite quote from Where I Belong is: “Manhattan, Grandma and Grandpa want you home before it’s dark. Hurry before you turn back into a stiletto.” (172)