Angela Todd's Reviews > Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
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Feb 19, 12

bookshelves: literature-for-the-adolescent

"Where Things Come Back" used many great tactics for readers. John Corey Whaley had two different plots that came together at the end of the story. The Lazarus Woodpecker was a lost bird that no one could find, and Gabriel Witter was a lost teenager no one could find who was fascinated by this bird. Cullen Witter, the protagonist who narrates this story from his point-of-view, discovers that life is not easy when his cousin dies, the girl (Ada Taylor) he loves loves someone else, his brother goes missing, and the snobby, visiting, Lazarus woodpecker-obssessed neighbor next door. Even when all these things go wrong, his best friend Lucas Cader and Lucas's girlfriend Mena Prescott are always available to save Cullen Witter. The characters are people the reader can relate to in her life. Just like at the end of the book when it says, "We can learn to love the Mena Prescotts, we can imagine the Russell Quitmans to be zombies, we can fantasize all day long about the Ada Taylors, and we can wish we were more like the Lucas Caders...There will be John Barlings to lead us astray and Oslo Foukes to remind us that maybe we are doing things right after all." Mena was Cullen's best friend's girlfriend who stole Lucas' time, but at the end of the day, she was always there for Cullen. The Russell Quitmans of life are the "other" people that get the opportunity to love the people we love and cannot have. Ada Taylor represents the person we love who choose the Russell Quitmans of life. The Lucas Caders of life are the best friends that will be there to cry with us when we need them but wipe our tears if we just need support. They are the ones that are not afraid to tell us when we are being dumb or to drag us out of our houses to get involved in the community when our brothers are missing. John Barling is the wacky, visiting next door neighbor who leads the community to believe a lie, in this case the reader finds out the Lazarus Woodpecker is not even a real bird, and then to leave without a word. The Oslo Foukes are the troublemaker people who experiment with different ways of getting into trouble and die as a result, giving us a hope that maybe we are doing something right with our life. Whichever people a reader most relates to, the story can be applied. No, all of our brothers are not missing; no, we do not have to identify the body of our dead cousin; no, we do not have to worry about a visitor throwing our lives and our community into whack with a bogus story; and no, we do not all have the drive, the hope, and the faith of Cullen Witter. But, we do have troubles in life, friends like Lucas Cader to help us through them, and the faith that we will soon find what the best decision is for our lives. This book goes into many details about Cullen Witter's life as he tries to find his brother with hope of him being alive. This is a book about the struggles of teenagers and all the petty little problems we complain about every day. This is the story of a seventeen-year-old whose life was twisted and he had to cope with the struggles of life.
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