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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)


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Saturday, 20 April 2013
Title: Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Date Published: July 24, 2012
Grade: A

Goodreads Summary: In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. 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.

Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary’s disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. As distant as the two stories initially seem, they are woven together through masterful plotting and merge in a surprising and harrowing climax. This extraordinary tale from a rare literary voice finds wonder in the ordinary and illuminates the hope of second chances

Review:  You known that feeling you get when you aren't really sure you want to read a book? I was in my school library, with this paperback novel in my hands, and I was trying to decide whether it was worth my weekend's read. And I am extremely happy that I was smart enough to give it a try. To be honest, I wasn't expecting too much from Where Things Come Back because of it's surprisingly low rating on goodreads, and because Sarina described it as a book she "wasn't sure I would like", so as you can see, I had my doubts.

This book completely exceeded my expectations. It's memorable, a classic- perpetual. Although it was a bit confusing at the beginning and pretty hard to get into, by the end of the book, I felt so satisfied and happy. I love when a book has a really interesting story. Quality writing and quality storytelling make a really, solid book. Everything was so easy to imagine: The little, sleepy town of Lily, Arkensas, Cullen Witter and his pocket notebook full of book titles, his best friend and forever-loyal (and super funny) sidekick Lucas Cader, the gorgeous girl of the town Ada and her popular, zombie like boyfriend Russell whom Cullen detests.

To give the book an additional touch of complexity, Whaley introduces another story that occurs while Cullen lives his life in Lily. A completely different story with a completely different set of characters. A huge reason why I enjoyed the book so much was because how cleverly Whaley connected the two plots; Through a series of events, the two casts of characters meet (but that's all I'm going to say about that, because I don't want to give away any spoilers). Anyways, everything was just so well described and engaging. There was a perfect balance between seriousness and hilarity. When it needed to be serious, Whaley used symbols to represent deeper meanings while he tackled solemn issues like death, and when it needed to be funny, oh, it was extremely funny. The characters were straight up hilarious and I found myself falling in love with Cullen and Lucas and their random, spontaneous stories. Cullen's narration of the events were also a big reason why I enjoyed this book so much. It was impossible not to be drawn in by the stories. 

When one is in doubt weather or not one should read a book, one should ... That was one of the only things that annoyed me throughout the book. Although Cullen was really lovable most of the time, with his cheeky answers and funny book titles, I really disliked it when he talked about himself in third person.There were also parts of the book where Cullen would just start going off on these tangents that sometimes seemed so unrelated to the plot. These aspects of the novel were kind of confusing, however; they're also really minor details and they don't really take away from the book at all. 

When I had about twenty five pages left, I began panicking. How was the story going to end in twenty five pages!? There was so much that had yet to be resolved and there were so many things needed to be explained. For a painful moment I thought I was going to be left hanging with an open ending. Thank goodness Whaley doesn't want to give his readers a heart attack... The ending was the best part of the book. It was the perfect cherry on top of the deliciously satisfying chocolate syrup on top of the creamy, wonderfully churned vanilla ice cream. Like the sundae, this wonderfully complicated and beautifully written book Where Things Come Back, has many layers that will suck you in deeper and deeper as you experience more of it.

Oh, also. I highly recommend this book to John Green lovers, as both author's have a similar writing style. 

Happy reading!