Where I Belong
Title: Where I Belong
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of Pages: 291 (paperback)
Advertised Age Level: Ages 13 to 17
Age and Grade of Main Character(s): 15 – sophomore in high school
Language: no profanity
Sex: kissing, vague references to hooking up
Drug/Alcohol Use: underage characters get drunk
Social Issues: entitlement, dealing with recession, parent losing job, moving to a new town
Suggested Movie Grade: PG
Corrinne Corcoran is a real life Gossip Girl. She and her friends shop and dine and revel in the world of upscale New York City. She’s thrilled that she’s been accepted to the prestigious private high school, Kent Academy, where she and her best friend Waverly will decorate their shared room in the height of fashion and become social queens on campus. What Corrinne never expects is to be sent to live with her maternal grandparents in tiny Broken Spoke, Texas, after her father loses his Wall Street job in the recession crises and all of the family’s money in a Bernie Madoff-life scam.
Corrinne moves with her little brother Tripp into a tiny house where her grandmother imposes draconian rules like a midnight curfew and insisting that Corrinne get a job at the local stables, and her grandfather insists on teaching her how to drive a beat up, rusty old truck named Billie Jean. She looks down on all of the cowboys and “hairspray-queens” at her new high school, determined to return to New York as soon as possible. But before she knows it, Corrinne finds that some of the kids in Broken Spoke are actually not that bad. And when her best friend, Waverly, comes for a visit, Corrinne even finds herself defending Broken Spoke and the life she’s made for herself there.
Potential Points of Concern:
Corrinne is a very spoiled girl who thinks nothing of going on shopping sprees and hiding her purchases from her parents. She is very entitled and is irrationally angry with her parents when the family’s misfortune causes Corrinne to have to move to Broken Spoke.
Corrinne and all of her friends – both those in NYC and in Broken Spoke – drink alcohol. Corrinne mentions boys who will supply pills but she doesn’t take them.
Corrinne is very snobbish towards the people in Broken Spoke, including her grandparents.
Age Appropriateness: 12 +