I have been wanting to share this review for MONTHS! And finally, I got it written. Let me start with a little background info about the author and this book ~
About the Author: John Corey Whaley
Here is the official bio from Amazon:
John Corey Whaley is an American Young Adult author from Louisiana. His first novel, WHERE THINGS COME BACK is a finalist for the 2012 William C. Morris YA Debut Award.WHERE THINGS COME BACK has also been nominated for the American Library Association's Best Fiction for Young Adults 2012.
Whaley was named a Spring 2011 Flying Start Author by Publishers Weekly as well as a Top Ten New Voice for Teens by the ABC Children's Group at ALA and a Spring 2011 Okra Pick from the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
Whaley was recently selected by the National Book Foundation as a Top 5 Under 35 author, making him the first YA author to be awarded the honor.
Whaley studied English and writing at Louisiana Tech University and later earned a Master's in English Education.Now, my unofficial 4-1-1...
To learn more about John Corey Whaley and WHERE THINGS COME BACK, visit www.johncoreywhaley.com
I had the opportunity to meet and "hang out" with Corey for a couple of days when he came to do some school visits with Elana Johnson and Jessi Kirby. Let me tell you - he is FABULOUS! Smart, funny, talented - all words I would use to describe him. Needless to say, I was so excited to read his book...especially after meeting him.
About the Book: Where Things Come Back
Here's the "official" blurb on Amazon:
In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town vanishes. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.
As Cullen navigates a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young, disillusioned missionary in Africa searches for meaning wherever he can find it. Through masterful plotting, these two stories are brought face-to-face in a surprising and harrowing climax that is tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, and above all, hope.My thoughts:
This is a wonderfully crafted book that explores death...and life. His characterizations are rich, as is his use of setting. I found both plots interesting as I kept reading to find out how and when they would intersect. The ending, while I certainly predicted it, was exciting and satisfying.
Whaley does a fabulous job in his debut novel and I sincerely can NOT wait for more from him. Do yourself a favor and check it out!