Rated Reads

Where I Belong

by Gwendolyn Heasley

Rated: Moderate

Corrinne lives in New York City with her family. Their lifestyle is similar to that of many others, where conversations are few and outside interests seem constantly to be pulling everyone in different directions.

Corrinne’s father has a great job, which allows her to attend the most elite parties and clubs, spend outrageous amounts of money on clothes and attend only the best schools. She and best friend Waverly will be attending Kent, an exclusive boarding school, in the fall. That is, until her father loses his job, and much of their savings, in a “Madoff-type situation.” Her parents decide they must make some drastic changes to save their family financially. The biggest change has Corrinne, her brother Tripp and their mom moving to Broken Spoke, Texas, the small town where their mother grew up, while their father accepts a job in Dubai.

The three of them move in with their mother’s parents, and Corrinne and Tripp are immediately enrolled in public school. They are faced with lots of challenges and changes, although Corrinne is the one who struggles the most. Should she take the job shoveling horse manure? Should she become friends with people she would have never considered before? Then there are potential boyfriends, accepting her new life, accepting herself, letting go of her arrogance, giving family and friends second chances, maturing, taking on responsibilities and discovering some things about herself. It’s a riches-to-rags story where her previous life quickly becomes defined as B.R. — before the recession — and her tough current reality is living in Broken Spoke.

I loved this book. Rarely do I find books that I can’t put down, but this was one of them and I definitely recommend it. The main character lives a much different lifestyle in the beginning than most of us do, but that soon changes. And with that change comes so many great lessons. She learns to work hard, be less judgmental, to think before she speaks and to forgive others. She learns what true friendship is. She takes on new responsibilities and works through family issues. The lessons observed here are great. I loved not only watching her change, but I also loved the person she becomes. I also appreciated the emphasis on family and how they all came together and made the best of their situation. The importance of family really shines through in this book.

Rated: Moderate for approximately 10 uses of mild language and five uses of moderate language. There is no sex, but there is a lot of teen drinking. The drinking, though, is never glamorized and there are no drinking scenes in which inappropriate things occur. The alcohol comes in second behind the conversations and happenings between the characters.

— Reviewed by Nicole Borman

Nicole Borman is a high school librarian who didn’t catch the reading bug until college. Although she likes most genres, her genres of choice are nonfiction, YA chick lit, and anything Pride and Prejudice-esque.

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  • Where I Belong
  • by Gwendolyn Heasley
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: