Where I belong by J. Daniels: Review

Posted July 7, 2016 in review Tags: ,

Where I belong by J. Daniels: ReviewWhere I Belong by J. Daniels
Pages: 227

Series: Alabama Summer #1
Genres: New Adult
Narrator: Stella Bloom, Eric Michael Summerer
Also by this author: Down Too Deep
Amazon iBooks

Book one of The Alabama Summer Series.
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?

Where I Belong
J. Daniels

So many people told me to read this book. Seriously, SO MANY. What they didn’t tell me was that it would make me ANGRY. In their defense, I don’t think they expected the anger and hate because, well, no one else got this angry. So, let me explain…

Ben was TERRIBLE to Mia when they were younger. He made fun of her weight and her looks. And no, it wasn’t an “I have a crush on you so I’m gonna pull your pigtails” kind of mean. He was terrible to her. She moves away but comes back to spend a summer with her best friend, Tessa, who happens to be Ben’s sister. But now Mia is HOT. Ben falls for her instantly because she is hot. I was so frustrated because if she was still chubby and geeky he wouldn’t have given her a second glance. And the longer I listened to the book, the more obvious that became to me. He caused her major pain as a child but now that she is a hottie he wishes he hadn’t? How is that love? Mia is a very sweet girl who has gone through a lot in her life and her memories of Ben and the things he said were heartbreaking. Seriously.

Ben is out to prove he isn’t that guy anymore. While I agree, he isn’t the same jerk who made fun of her, you can’t erase the fact that he did and that if she wasn’t gorgeous now, he wouldn’t want her so much. I just really struggle with books when the romance is all based on looks. Frankly, this entire book was about appearance. Yes, eventually, they get to know each other but I still never felt the one date they went on was enough to convince each other they loved who the other was as a person. Nope, it always came back to how hot she was. Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with characters in books being ‘hot’. The only reason this book bothered me so much is because she wasn’t always hot. I don’t mind the ugly duckling trope because, well, every girl wishes to grow up into a swan, but because he was so cruel to her before she got pretty, I just couldn’t connect.

So, why 3 stars at all? Because honestly, this book made me feel things (mostly anger)! I couldn’t put it down. While I didn’t care for Ben at all and kind of hoped Mia would leave him at the end of the summer, I still couldn’t get enough of this book. And regardless of my feelings about Ben and Mia, the narrators are amazing. They were perfect for the part.


  • POV: Dual 1st
  • Tears: Yes (but, it might have been because I was angry!)
  • Trope: ugly duckling, single parent
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: Standalone
  • Cliffhanger: No
  • HEA: View Spoiler »

Bully by Penelope Douglas (which I actually did like more than this), #Nerd by Cambria Hebert, Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow…then you will probably like Where I Belong!

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About J. Daniels

J. Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the upcoming Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

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4 responses to “Where I belong by J. Daniels: Review

  1. oh I have issues with stories that are based on looks because appearance changes over time….its what is inside a person that truly matters. So I would be totally angry all the time with this one too!!

    • Thank you!! I was so frustrated with this book!! Ugh!!!! And I know so many people who LOVE it. I wanted to throw things multiple times while reading.

      • Katherine131

        Oh thank you. There are so many red flags in this book, that Mia could make a slamming red dress out of them!

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