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Archive Book Review: Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back


Archive Book Review: Where Things Come Back

This was such a good book. I finished it in a day.

Book Review Date: May 10th, 2013

Written by: John Corey Whaley

Cover Copy

When you read a novel expecting to be entertained with a lighthearted tale of adolescent love, you may come to the last page to realize you’ve read something quite different. Will you be left still thinking about the inexplicable disappearance of a perfectly innocent little brother? Will you be picturing what it would be like to finally get the girl of your dreams? Will you be shocked by how the reappearance of an extinct woodpecker can change an entire town and the lives of the people in it? Or willy ou just obsess over those zombies and talking birds? Maybe when you read this story, you’ll find that even in a small Arkansas town where everything familiar can disappear, there is wonder in the ordinary and the hope for a second chance.

Where Things Come Back


I will be very honest. If not for the fact that coworkers kept interrupting me during the last chapters of this book, I’d have been in tears. This was such a good book. I finished it in a day. {Yes, I did also finish all my work for the day. No slacking off. Promise}. I loved it. I loved the characters and the voice. I was so worried about one of the characters that I actually told a coworker how worried I was as if the character was a real person. No lie. All awards this book has gotten are absolutely well-deserved. Also, as my regular readers {if there are any of you who are regular readers} should know by now… the bird on the cover was pretty much what made me pick up the book to begin with. Also the title. Loved the title. Oh, and the chapter titles. Those were great. Great book.

Where Things Come Back

First Line

I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body.

Favorite Lines 

  • I can’t seem to be a pessimist long enough to overlook the possibility of things being overwhelmingly good.
  • Which figures, given that I cannot remember one single time that Gabriel ever told anything but the truth. That is not to say, however, that he was rude or outspoken or blunt in any way. If Gabriel was being very quiet, it meant that whatever he wanted to say, which would have been the truth, was inappropriate.
  • I hated when someone would tell me they had something to tell me instead of just telling me.
  • If I had a gun, I would shoot the Lazarus woodpecker in the face.
  • …he asked in a sad I-desperately-wish-I-could-pull-off-this-southern-charm-thing kind of way.
  • It Is Not a Sin to Kill a Woodpecker.
  • …truck drivers who needed to stock up on energy drinks and use the bathroom for longer than I felt was necessary for any human.
  • I didn’t answer her because when I tried to speak, I felt as if I’d either throw up or scream, and I didn’t want to do either…
  • …someone I learned to truly appreciate, which is not something I do easily with most people.
  • Maybe she was going crazy too, but it was a less offensive and in-your-face crazy, so it was a bit easier to swallow.
  • She reminded me of sadness.
  • My brother once told me that God was like the best musician in the world … And he’s the best writer, too … Because he gives every good writer something to struggle with and try to work out by writing it down. That’s genius.
  • Are you happy?” I asked her. // “I was.” Her face turned pale. Her eyes lost life. Her tone changed to that of a girl trying not to start crying.
  • Lucas uses the word “awesome” when he’s trying to convince me to do something he knows I don’t want to do. Cleaning his room and working on his transmission are also “awesome.
  • “Can you do me a favor?” she asked in that way that implied that saying no would cause someone to die.
  • It never hurts anyone to think life gives you second chances.
  • …your mind has a way of not letting you forget things you wish you could. Especially with people. Like, you’ll always try your best to forget things that people say to you or about you, but you always remember. And you’ll try to forget things you’ve seen that no one should see, but you just can’t do it.
  • Didn’t he know that all I felt like doing was fading into the background? Leaning against a wall a disappearing into it? Lying on the couch, hoping the cushions would swallow me up?
  • Dr. Webb says that losing a sibling is oftentimes much harder for a person than losing any other member of the family. “A sibling represents a person’s past, present, and future,” he says. “Spouses have each other, and even when one eventually dies, they have memories of a time when they existed before that other person and can more readily imagine a life without them. Likewise, parents may have other children to be concerned with — a future to protect for them. To lose a sibling is to lose the one person with whom one shares a lifelong bond that is meant to continue on into the future.” I understood this to mean that … stories about us could, from then on, be told from only one perspective. Memories could be told but not shared.
  • …everything was good and nobody was sad.
  • When someone is sad and hopeless, the last thing they need is to feel that they are the only ones in the world with that feeling.
  • The world can’t be satisfied, but the need to fix it all can.
  • There were even rumors of secret meetings of a group called Bird Haters United. I had thought seriously of attending one of their meetings.

Last Word

  • Back

Reader, Author, Bookstagrammer, and Mom; Alexis runs Nerdy Post, a fandom artwork box as well as serves as chief editor and writer on Drop and Give me Nerdy.

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