Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK (12th March 2015)

Format: Paperback ( 272 pages)

Source: Library copy 


Cullen`s brother Gabriel had always been different to the other people that lived in the little town named Lily. However when he goes missing Cullen finds it hard to cope with the loss of his brother and he tries to find him. On the way he starts realising the way things work and he loses the people he loves and he also starts questioning the simple things that happens in his life.


A while ago I come across this book whilst watching someone`s video and I saw it was compared with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I thought I might give it ago. However I came into this book not knowing anything about it because I was quite surprised when there were religious references.

This book takes places in a small town called Lily, Arkansas and it follows Cullen who is bored of his town and he finds the “discovery” of an extinct bird pointless, however when his brother goes missing he will do anything to get his brother back. At the same time there is a young man who is on a missionary in Africa and both of these stories intertwine with each other in this book. The two stories coming together was written really well as I could easily understand what was happening.

On reflection I didn`t like the characters in this book because I couldn`t connect with them and they were very distance. One of the major aspect of a book is the characters but in this book the characters weren`t portrayed as real people and they were just characters in a book for me. Cullen`s reactions in this book were reactions that I wouldn`t have expected or hoped and somehow I felt this book had a heavy tone and this made it hard to get into the book. Furthermore the writing was quite dense the first time around so I had to push myself to read and finish the book.

Around half way through the book I lost interest and I was intending to put the book down however there was a slight plot twist and I finally realised what was going on in the book and timing of the book. I thought it was really clever of Whaley to have different time phrases in the book and it reminded me of a cycle. There were also some aspects of the book that I didn`t predict and it shocked me.

However one of the main aspect of the book that I didn`t enjoy and made me confused was the religious references to angels and more religious things that I don`t understand, although if you are a Christian I think you would understand it more quickly because it took me a while but I got there and it was really rewarding!

Overall this book was an okay book that was short so I could read it quickly. If you like reading coming-of-age books then this might be for you because it`s a common theme. I personally didn`t enjoy this book because I didn`t find it gripping and the pace was slightly too slow for me. I also couldn`t relate to any of the characters so this was another let down for me.

I rate this book ★★