Customer Reviews for

Where Things Come Back

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I'm astounded at the anonymous review posted April 12, 2012 and

I'm astounded at the anonymous review posted April 12, 2012 and feel compelled to respond. Although religion influences the action of some characters, I didn't find the book to be about religion. The environmental movement influences the actions of other characters, b...
I'm astounded at the anonymous review posted April 12, 2012 and feel compelled to respond. Although religion influences the action of some characters, I didn't find the book to be about religion. The environmental movement influences the actions of other characters, but the book isn't about environmentalism, either. I happened to read this book before knowing that it received any awards, and without reading much in the way of reviews, and I found it to the best coming-of-age novel since The Catcher in the Rye. The ending was perfect; heartwarming without being saccharine. When I learned about the awards WTCB has received, I wasn't surprised, of course, but once the stickers started showing up on the book's cover, I began to wish everyone could discover this gem of a novel on their own, without the preconceptions that come from learning about awards and reviews. My recommendation to prospective readers is to not be too influenced by my, or anyone's, viewpoint. Savor this book for its subtle complexities, as well as its marvelously dry hilarity, and treasure it for yourself.

posted by AvidReaderinBoston1 on June 26, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

I really thought I was going to like this book, and there were

I really thought I was going to like this book, and there were some moments that made me think I would like it. However, I had some major issues with it, mostly I got the feeling that the author wanted to portray Cullen (the main character) as someone that had no idea ...
I really thought I was going to like this book, and there were some moments that made me think I would like it. However, I had some major issues with it, mostly I got the feeling that the author wanted to portray Cullen (the main character) as someone that had no idea why he did the things he did but at the same time Cullen also seemed to have a pretty good idea of who he was. Another thing that made me not like this book is the fact that people seemed to do things for no reason at all except that the author wanted them too. I think we didn't really get to know any of the characters in this book, especially Cullen's brother. I just felt like I had no idea why they did what they did throught the whole book, even though the author tried to explain what they were like. Most of the book told from the point of view of Cullen but the author does this annoying thing where he switches points of view, one minute Cullen will be saying "I did...." and the next he says something like "when one sees....he feels...he imagines" this happens at the end of almost every chapter and I think, was supposed to be used to show something but really just got on my nerves. I was not aware that this book was going to be so religious and the way it was religious really bothered me, I also found the whole 'second' story to be very unlikely and just weird. The Book of Enoch was mentioned a lot without really telling the reader why it was so important other than that it was banned, and it did not explain anything. The character Cabot (who is half of the second story) just seemed to suddenly switch from normal to crazy with no warning and no prompt. It was just ridiculous and unbelievable. It seemed like the author was just trying to find a way to tie things together. The plot had many interesting ways it could of gone and I was disappointed in the way it ended (which is the only reason I kept reading it, to see what happened). I suppose this book was just not for me, as some people seem to think it's very good but I feel as if I wasted my time reading it and gained nothing from it.

posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2012

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    I'm astounded at the anonymous review posted April 12, 2012 and

    I'm astounded at the anonymous review posted April 12, 2012 and feel compelled to respond. Although religion influences the action of some characters, I didn't find the book to be about religion. The environmental movement influences the actions of other characters, but the book isn't about environmentalism, either. I happened to read this book before knowing that it received any awards, and without reading much in the way of reviews, and I found it to the best coming-of-age novel since The Catcher in the Rye. The ending was perfect; heartwarming without being saccharine. When I learned about the awards WTCB has received, I wasn't surprised, of course, but once the stickers started showing up on the book's cover, I began to wish everyone could discover this gem of a novel on their own, without the preconceptions that come from learning about awards and reviews. My recommendation to prospective readers is to not be too influenced by my, or anyone's, viewpoint. Savor this book for its subtle complexities, as well as its marvelously dry hilarity, and treasure it for yourself.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not your typical storyline. This story was a light read that gra

    Not your typical storyline. This story was a light read that grabbed me from the very beginning and wouldn't let go. Cullen lives in Lily, Arkansas, a small town that soon finds itself in national headlines due to the sighting of an extinct woodpecker. What happens next, though, is unreal. His brother Gabriel goes missing, and the story continues in the aftermath of Gabriel's disappearance without a trace. Cullen tries going on with his life, but struggles with it at the same time, and all the while making fun of the gentleman who claims to have spotted the return of the extinct bird, even laughing at the absurdity of the town changing their image to highlight the notorious Lazarus woodpecker. Powerful storytelling at it's best. A must read!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2012

    This story was unusual and strange is the best possible way. The

    This story was unusual and strange is the best possible way. The plot is absolutely brilliant! This book combines teenage problems, society flaws, young love, and mystery. The protagonists are endearing and humorous, while the antagonists are - well, hate-able. You'll be guessing (in the good way) throughout the book. Bear with it, cause it gets good!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Hi

    This book is amazing , in very many instances it made me cry and it made me laugh , I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good read. Although a review had said that the book was religious it is not, it had mentioned a bit on the religious topic,but not too much to overwhelm and bore people, it gave enough insight on the topic to make it understandable ,that is all. Thank you to whoever read my review, hope this helped. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2013

    Literally, the best book I have ever read.

    Literally, the best book I have ever read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    !

    Amazing, truly beautiful book that really stands out. In the bittersweetly heartbreaking style of John Green's books, Where Things Come Back is a truly memorable experience that all young adults and adults alike should give a chance. This book deserves to be next to Looking For Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars on everyone' s shelf

    +++ MNC

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    This was a wonderful book about never giving up and exceptional

    This was a wonderful book about never giving up and exceptional faith

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    True that there is a religious layer to the novel, but it is not

    True that there is a religious layer to the novel, but it is not endorsed. At first, I thought it was overwhelming. However, it is merely there to explain an unpopular and unknown religion.

    The novel includes a few seemingly unconnected stories that are tied together later. At one point I was so shocked and depressed that I did not want to keep reading because i feared a tragic ending. I continued since I do not have the ability to put down a book once I have started. To say the least, I was not disappointed.

    An easy read. One day if you have the time and will. I would recommend for not only teenagers, but parents as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    !

    I have only read the sample version, but it's enough for me to know that I am going to love the rest. It had me hooked from the first page, and when a book can manage to do that it's a big deal.
    I will be buying this one!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Best book

    I was so addicted to this book. It is now my favorite novel that I have ever read. I love the uniquness of the plot and how the two stories told intertwine in such a suprising way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2014

    god it's amazing, there's so much going on and even though the b

    god it's amazing, there's so much going on and even though the book isn't exceptionally sad the whole time, you feel the bitterness in your heart and oh my god

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    A good book

    Wow!!! Just wow!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Honestly, I thought this book was amazing.  If you like John Gre

    Honestly, I thought this book was amazing.  If you like John Green, you're sure to like this book.  It's a wonderful coming-of-age novel, and I'm
    surprised that it's not more popular, considering its awards and overall greatness.  The plot is good, no complaints about anything.  The ending 
    is sure to give you something to talk about/debate, to.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Loved this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Wait?

    Did the brother die or not?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Excellent book

    It was well written, unique, and absolutely magical

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Fantastic Read -- Buy this book!

    Where Things Come Back is a very intelligent, beautifully written debut literary novel. Whaley has created two plotlines intricately woven together that will both surprise and entertain readers. In one plotline, readers get a first-person point of view of Cullen, who goes through different stages of grief as he tries to deal with his brother's disappearance. In the second plotline, readers get a less concrete, third-person account of Benton and then Cabot, as they struggle to discover a way to change the world. Meanwhile, there is the giant Lazarus Woodpecker "flying around" in the background. Although it may appear that the story is about a small town and the return of a thought-to-be extinct bird, it is really not. It is a story is about zombies (just kidding.kinda). It is about a misguided obsession. It is about second chances. It is about Cullen and his relationship with his brother, his best friend, and his family.

    Whaley does a great job with characterization. Though cynical at times, Cullen also showed hope and despair, presenting a well-rounded character. The reader was able to see his desire to get the heck out of his small town, his hatred for "that damn bird" and its overwhelming popularity, his sense of helplessness upon losing a brother. This helped create a closeness with Cullen that a reader should feel with the protagonist of a story. The brother dynamic was interesting because though Cullen was older than his brother, Gabriel is almost worshiped by Cullen. Gabriel is such an awesome character; it is easy to see why he is so respected by his older brother. Another character that I really enjoyed is Lucas, Cullen's best friend. He brings an element of cheerfulness into the Witter's home that masks his own hardships. Though Cullen may have been annoyed with him at times, he was very dependent upon Lucas's friendship. As for the other plotline, I was not really sure what is going through the minds of Benton and Cabot. This intentional vagueness gives both characters an air of mystery that is essential to the plot. I have to admit I was very confused in the first couple chapters and I desperately was trying to make connections between the two plotlines. Reader, be patient and trust your author, because it is brilliantly executed.


    I picked this novel up because Sasha (Sash & Em) invited me to come along to a YA book club and author visit in Alexandria, VA. Being unfamiliar with the author and book, I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did! Corey Whaley is my new favorite author! Also known as the "woodpecker guy" (he even has a tattoo to match his nickname), Whaley is from a small town in Louisiana, off which Lily, AR is modeled. He is charming and witty-he kept us laughing throughout the book club. He noted that while there were components that are autobiographical, the similarities are becoming more apparent now, years after writing the book, than they were initially. An interesting fact is the story idea was inspired by a NPR interview with Whaley's favorite folk singer, Sufjan Stevens, about a small farming town and the return of an extinct woodpecker. Listen to the interview here. Another interesting fact, the cover is designed to look like a concert poster. I liked the cover before, but knowing makes me appreciate it more! This novel is awesome! And I cannot wait for Whaley's next novel (it has something to do with his favorite word, "defenestration").

    Follow Corey Whaley on twitter @Corey_Whaley.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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