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12 January 2012

Book Review: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Where Things Come Back
Where Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley
Publisher: Atheneum
Hardcover, 228
Young Adult
Date Published:
May 3rd 2011
Source: Gifter

Just when seventeen-year-old Cullen Witter thinks he understands everything about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town, it all disappears. . . .
In the summer before Cullen's senior year, a nominally-depressed birdwatcher named John Barling thinks he spots a species of woodpecker thought to be extinct since the 1940s in Lily, Arkansas. His rediscovery of the so-called Lazarus Woodpecker sparks a flurry of press and woodpecker-mania. Soon all the kids are getting woodpecker haircuts and everyone's eating "Lazarus burgers." But as absurd as the town's carnival atmosphere has become, nothing is more startling than the realization that Cullen’s sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother Gabriel has suddenly and inexplicably disappeared....

     After listening to the raving done by my friend Ecey  and her finally sending me the book for my birthday I finally cracked the book open to see what all the raving was about. Well this books deserves every bit of raving it got. Where Things Come Back is a book I could easily list as one of the best books Ive read not only in 2011 but all time. It had equal parts of magnificent writing, a thrilling story, and great characters. I doubt I could even write a review well enough to relay how amazing this book was.
    So let me start by talking about a host of characters that are present in Where Things Come Back. Well the main character is Cullen.  Cullen is a character I found myself being able to relate to  well.Cullen is your average small town teen. He wants to get out! Especially after the town becomes extremely suffocating after the disappearance of his brother. Everyone wants to believe that Cullen's brother just got up and walked away. His brother Gabriel is a character I found very interesting. His views on life constantly had Cullen and I at the same time pondering about his view. There are also two other points of views/ characters in the story which at some points will cause you to wonder where the story is going. But, in the end it all comes together.
     John Corey Whaley's writing style was excellent. When he switches between the character point of views he  gives each of them a distinct voice. Also the story never really has any dull moments. He always has you questioning what will happen next. He writes a story with everything the reader could want in a book. It was a refreshing read.. John Corey Whaley gives a powerful story while also bringing a light and at sometimes comical read.


  1. I LOVED this book as well. I think it is absolutely amazing that this is his first book. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us next!

    Great review! I agree with everything you said!

    Karis @YA Litwit

  2. How have a not heard of this book before?! Your review definitely makes me want to go out and buy it this second. I love that the author did such an amazing job with multiple point of views and that you could easily relate to Cullen. I definitely want read this now! Thanks for the great review Patrick! :)

  3. This was one of my favorite reads of 2011! The story totally wouldn't let me put it down! thanks for the review Patrick :)