Where I Belong
by J. Daniels
Series: Alabama Summer #1
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: June 27, 2014
Hardcover, 486 pages
My rating: DNF at 40%
When Mia Corelli returns to Alabama for a summer of fun with her childhood best friend, Tessa, there's only one thing keeping her on edge. One person that she’d do anything to avoid.
Benjamin Kelly. World’s biggest dickhead.
Mia hates him with a fury and has no desire to ever see him again. When she decides to start her summer off with a bang and finally give away her v-card, she unknowingly hands it over to the one guy that excelled at making her life miserable, learning a valuable lesson in the process. Always get the name of the guy you’re going home with.
Ben can’t get the girl he spent one night with out of his head. When she leaves him the next morning, he thinks he’ll never see her again. Until he sees her lounging by the pool with his sister. Mia is determined to hate Ben, even though she can’t forget him. Ben is determined to prove he’s not the same guy he used to be.
What happens when the one person you wish never existed becomes the one person you can’t imagine being without?
Warning: rant ahead. I don't mean to offend anyone.
I don't like writing negative reviews because it always makes me feel so mean. I know how much work authors put into their books, and it feels wrong to criticize that. But I need to get some things off my chest about Where I Belong. Because unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book. At all. So much, in fact, that I didn't make it past the 40% mark. And here's why:
First of all, Ben is awful. He used to hate Mia and teased her constantly when they were younger because she wasn't super pretty and a little chubby. Now they meet again years later and she's lost weight and turned into a beautiful woman. Suddenly he's all over her and absolutely in love. He literally can't shut up about how gorgeous she is. Are you kidding me? How shallow is that? What sort of lesson does it teach people who read this book? That you can't be liked if you're not skinny and gorgeous?
Secondly, I am sick and tired of guys being dictating, overly jealous and overprotective in New Adult books. Ben is threatening any guy that looks at Mia with interest. They're not even together. NOT EVEN FRIENDS. How is it okay to force yourself on someone by threatening any other guy that might be interested? Of course we know that Mia is also attracted to Ben in this case, but in real life, chances are that the girl actually wants the guy to leave her alone and it's not okay to just ignore that and keep pushing. I have hardly ever read a New Adult book where the guy isn't completely overbearing, and it annoys me so much. Sometimes I can overlook some small actions and comments, but this book is all over the place.
Of course, Mia also embodies the stereotypical New Adult girl. She swoons whenever Ben is near and suddenly looses the ability to speak because he wears his police uniform or smiles at her. She wants to stay away from him because of what of a jerk he used to be to her, but she also can't stop thinking about him. And yes, you guessed it, she's a virgin. And yes, correct again, when she loses her virginity to Ben (I'm not even going to comment on the fact that she didn't recognize him), it's the most magical night for both of them. I don't know why women always have to be virgins. I don't understand why, when they lose their virginity, it always has to be a mind-blowing night. I just don't get it.
I'm so disappointed with this book. I've read some great reviews from people I trust, especially when it comes to New Adult. Maybe I'm just starting to dislike this genre in general because I'm so fed up with reading about the same stereotypes again and again. Where I Belong just sums up everything I dislike about the genre.
I kept hoping for the story to get better and I even put the book down for a while because I thought that might help. Then I picked it up again and within two minutes I was rolling my eyes and ready to throw my phone at a wall. So no, it's not going to happen.