Book: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Summary: As his town comes alive searching for an extinct bird that has reappeared, Cullen Witter falls apart searching for his missing 15-year-old brother.
Characters: These characters felt incredibly real. There are a lot of funny, eccentric characters, but that doesn't take away from how easy it is to deeply connect to those who matter. I loved Cullen and his best friend, Lucas Cader, but Cullen's brother Gabriel is by far my favorite character. Honestly, I thought Whaley was a bit of an asshole for making me love Gabriel so much before he disappeared. It was hard not knowing what had happened to him, but then you start to figure it out and I didn't think I could handle it if he was dead.
Plot/Pacing: The book itself is short and a pretty quick read. The voice immediately pulled me in, but it wasn't until about halfway through the book that I could not put it down. I stayed up late to finish and the end almost killed me, but was totally worth the late night (and way too early morning). As I mentioned, I was going crazy with worry about Gabriel and I wouldn't have been able to sleep even if I had put the book down.
Every other chapter of Where Things Come Back is not Cullen's story. It is this random (you think), meandering story about abuse and religion and... things. I was really confused, because these interludes seemed to have nothing to do with the main story and were completely unexpected. However, you stick with it and then the story lines intersect in a way you won't see coming and then you will curse a lot and ugly cry. At least that is what I did. These chapters that you think have nothing to do with the story are what make this story so powerful at the end.
Moments I Loved: Any scene with Gabriel. I love him. He felt like my little brother, which made the whole disappearing and maybe dead thing really hard to take.
WTF Moments: The end. It is... open ended. Kind of. I'm still not sure what happened, but that doesn't mean that I didn't like it.
Overall: Definitely for fans of John Green. This book has deep characters and a story line that will make you think before making you ugly cry.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: 228 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.
Where Things Come Back gets a FakeSteph rating of...