Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Book: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Genre: YA
Rating: ****
For: Fun (keeping up with the awards!)
From: the library

Here's another book that recently won an award (the Printz Award no less!) which prompted me to instantly request it from the library and once again, I'm actually quite surprised it came to me to so fast!

And now if only I can find words to describe what this book was like! The story alternates between two points of view... one is this kid who lives in this small town where there's nothing to do and he just wants out. He loves his brother and family, he loves this girl who seems unattainable, he loves his best buddy and they all have some fun times together.... especially making fun of the strange guy who shows up going on and on about an extinct woodpecker which he claims to have sighted in this town.

The other story line is this strange religious journey that first one boy takes, which he then passes on, in a sense, to another kid. I was baffled by this story and of course, in all my clueless-ness, had no idea what it had to do with anything. But of course, we all know it will make sense in the end.

Anyway, and then something happens, which I'm not going to say here because I think it's better if it hits you out of the blue, but I'm sure other reviews and summaries will tell you what it is, if you are dying to know. And that something throws everything off, especially our teenage kid who was already feeling pretty down and out. Now things are so much worse!

This book had a kind of a Catcher in the Rye feel to me, but at the same time is nothing like that book. I know, I just KNOW there are tons of symbolic messages to be had, but I just can't seem to put my finger on what they are! You know the kind of book though? It feels so DEEP but you just aren't sure why? Yeah?

Or maybe I'm just too tired to really figure it out!

But I liked the style, I like the kid, I liked how he talked to himself (when one does that one starts using the word ONE a lot!) I liked the surprise and twisty moments.

Bottom line: Yeah, I really liked this one!

Other Reviews:

A Book a Day
The Book Nest
My Books. My Life.


  1. You know, this book was a little too weird for me. The day dreams, the strange stories (that, albeit, did come together in the end). I just didn't get it. I haven't enjoyed many of the Printz picks recently. And what was up with the ridiculous use of a--hat as a regular word? I guess I'm just out of the cussing loop.

  2. the cover, while refreshing for YA lit these days, is singularly uninspiring; but I am curious by the weirdness people keep referring to.

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

  3. Oh dear! I don't think I can handle another book with all this symbolism that's too subtle! Sigh. Hopefully it won't go over my head when I get to it.

  4. You beat me to this one! I have it on my shelves, but I haven't gotten to it yet. So, I skimmed this review, but it sounds intriguing. I'll make sure that I don't read it tired. Way to go reading a Printz winner!

  5. I saw this at the library recently and passed on it, the cover and flap just didn't grab me and I hadn't read a review of it yet. This make me more interested in picking it up, thanks.



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