Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Review by Tiffany, Librarian, Sebastopol Branch
Cullen Witter is a 17-year-old living in a small Arkansas town, where nothing usually happens. However, this summer things are different for Cullen. His cousin overdoses and his brother disappears. While all this is occurring, the town is buzzing about an extinct woodpecker that was spotted. At the same time, readers follow the story of Benton, who receives a mission in Ethiopia and hates it. He returns home to a less-than welcoming family. The two stories seem completely unrelated, but in the end, they all come together.
Why I picked it up: I always try to read prize-winning books. This book received the Printz Award this year and had an interesting cover. I also enjoyed its intriguing first line, "I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body."
Why I finished it: I really enjoyed reading Cullen's story. I was also curious about how two stories that seemed completely unrelated would come together. I was sad to see the story end. I wanted more out of the characters, especially Cullen and his brother Gabriel.
I'd recommend it to: If you enjoy stories with good character development and small town settings, this is the book for you.