Friday, July 11, 2014

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 3, 2011
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Where Things Come Back is just a good book. It is well written, has an amazing sense of place, a likeable main character and two plot lines that connect in a completely unexpected way.

By far my favorite thing about Where Things Come Back was the setting in Lily, Arkansas. I just recently moved from Vermillion, South Dakota and the way Lily is described it could have just as easily been Vermillion or any other small town looking for something to believe in. It was perfect.

Cullen he was a great narrator even if he did sometimes get on my nerves when he referred to himself in third person. Cullen is in the midst of the summer before his senior year when a neighbor spots the Lazrus woodpecker long thought to be extinct. The woodpecker’s discovery throws the town in to a tizzy and Cullen is not impressed. When his younger brother goes missing and the town spends more time on the bird then this brother it’s easy to see why Cullen comes to hate this bird.

I really liked Cullen’s best friend Lucas. He was the foil to all of Cullen’s negativity toward the town. Lucas was everything that was good about Lily and I liked that he forced Cullen to leave the house after his brother went missing.

While the woodpecker is taking over Lily, Where Things Come Back is also following the story of a missionary in Africa who is losing his faith. I loved when the two stories finally intersected. I couldn’t fathom how two things, so far removed, would connect in Lily of all places but when they did it all made sense.

Overall, Where Things Come Back was one of those books that sticks with you long after you finish it. The place was so utterly relatable, and the story so engrossing that I could have just curled up and lived in Lily. I’m looking forward to reading more from John Corey Whaley.

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