Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Cullen has had one awful summer. First of all his cousin dies and he has to identify the body. Then this stranger claims to have seen a Lazarus woodpecker which was last seen decades ago. Then his brother disappears. And to top it all off, he is stuck in the small town of Lily, Arkansas where nothing happens yet nobody leaves. Also interspersed throughout the novel is a story that starts with Benton Sage who wants to be a missionary. The two stories twist around themselves until suddenly at the end when they come together. Oh, and did I mention there are zombies? Or at least when Cullen starts thinking about things other than what is really happening…he imagines zombies. The story is interesting, it is powerful, and I can totally see why it just won the Printz award for outstanding literature for young adults. There is a caution though, it does have a bit of swearing in it. I know that is probably normal for a seventeen-year-old boy, but it was a bit much for me. Also, Cullen sleeps with three girls over the course of the book. It doesn’t get all romance-novel on you, but it does mention it. For those two reasons I would caution readers who would find those items a bit jarring. However, for those that can skip over the swear words and such, this is one powerful novel with an ending that readers will race toward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *