Newport Librarians's Reviews > Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: ms-kathy, ya-fiction
Read in April, 2012

In the opening scene of this small-town tale, high school senior Cullen Witter must identify his cousin Oslo's body at the morgue. Oslo, a heroin addict, has died of an overdose, and the reader is perhaps forgiven for thinking this is going to be a gritty, unpleasant story. But even in reacting to his cousin's death, Cullen's captivating teen-boy voice, and the realistic cast of supporting characters, such as his trucker father, his genius brother Gabriel, and his quirky best friend Lucas, carry us along, despite a series of gruesome events. There are many unanswered questions in Cullen's life: Has a fabulously rare woodpecker, long thought extinct, returned to save the town of Lily, Arkansas from its own slow economic death? Has Gabriel walked away from his family--and in particular his adoring brother--just to get out of dreary Lily, or does his disappearance mean that he has met with foul play? While the long list of calamities at times seems far-fetched (there's even an intersecting story line involving suicide and kidnapping), Cullen's reactions to the events that occur, from hopefulness to skepticism to anguish, are perfectly calibrated to keep us reading--and hoping for his sake if nothing else that Lily is, indeed, Where Things Come Back.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Where Things Come Back.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.