When you love a book – I mean you really love a book – you want to pump it up every chance you get. So I’m excited for yet another chance to talk about Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley – this time in support of the paperback release on Tuesday July 24, 2012.
I can’t wait until my paperback copy shows up on my doorstep so it can live on my shelf beside my beautiful hardcover copy. They’re named, you guys. NAMED.
Why Should YOU Read
Where Things Come Back?
1. You love Award-Winning Books!
I like throwing award-winners into my reading piles, particularly the YA winners. Where Things Come Back received both the William C. Morris YA Debut Award and the Printz Award in 2012!
2. You love YA books with excellent male leading characters.
Books with great male leading characters like Where Things Come Back do not come around often – so when one does, we tend to get really excited. Cullen Witter and his brother Gabriel are both such wonderful characters – strong, believable characters – you could absolutely know these guys in real life, just the way they are.
3. You love authors with a great writing style.
Mr. Whaley has such a fantastic way of infusing wit, sarcasm, and humor with his underlying themes of loss and teenage angst. Where Things Come Back is perfectly written from the perspective of a teenage boy. I would also go so far as to describe the language style of this book as “charming” at times.
4. You love books where the story leaves a big impact or makes you feel emotions.
Where Things Come Back is actually more like two stories in one. You spend your time reading & feeling and reading & feeling and reading & feeling – until you get to the end and WOW you cannot help but HUGTHATBOOK.
5. You love stories that have an ending like BAM!
The two alternating stories in Where Things Come Back proceed nicely but by the time you creep up on the end, you start to wonder HOW ON EARTH everything can possibly come together and then BAM! It does. Unbelievable.
Let’s talk about something a little bit different for a second: Music.
Mr. Whaley has made it no secret that music was in part behind the creation of this book. He even released a playlist for the book and has mentioned in interviews that he was inspired to write the book after hearing “The Lord God Bird” by Sufjan Stevens. (I love Sufjan Stevens. So much. Y’all just don’t know.)
Gabriel is one of my favorite YA male characters ever, and one of the reasons for this is because he sincerely loves music and books. After Gabriel’s disappearance, both his mother and his brother Cullen are able to find a small connection to him through some of the the music that he listened to.
There is a point in the book where Cullen is looking through Gabriel’s things and finds a paper with scribbled handwriting on it – song lyrics. Gabriel often wrote down random song lyrics, and on this particular occasion, the lyrics Cullen found were to the words Sufjan Stevens’ song “Chicago.”
You came to take us. All things go, all things go. To recreate us. All things grow, all things grow. We had our mindset. All things know, all things know. You had to find it. All things go, all things go.
Later in the book, Gabriel’s mother is so overcome with grief over her missing son, she moves into his bedroom. She becomes obsessed with reading his books and listening to his music. In this particular instance, Gabriel’s mother turns on his radio and hears these lyrics:
Staring at the sun
Oh my own voice cannot save me now
Standing in the sea
It’s just one more breath and then down I go.
These words are from TV on the Radio’s “Staring at the Sun.”
These are not the only songs mentioned in Where Things Come Back, but these two songs are yet another thing I loved about the book. The way that Cullen and his mother try to grasp blindly at any connection to their missing relative is heartbreaking, but as someone who loves music with a passion I can understand that they found a bit of Gabriel when they found some of the music that he listened to.
John Corey Whaley’s playlist for this particular book is interesting and fun and quirky. I love it. This guy knows some indie music, friends. In addition to peeking into his musical tastes by checking out the book playlist, if you follow him on Twitter, Mr. Whaley will occasionally talk about music or bands or whatever he is listening to at the moment. (Interactive author here, ladies and gentlemen! Follow him @corey_whaley)
I want to take this playlist and talk about all of the songs on it. But I won’t do that. I’ll spare you. Just trust me when I say you need to pick up the book and give it a read. Inside this fabulous book, you’ll find many things, only one of which is music. But it is a recurring theme, you guys, and is just one of the things that made me a huge, raving, ridiculous fan.
If you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of Where Things Come Back yet or if you want to add a paperback to your collection, here are some links for you:
Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.
You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.
Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!
11 responses to “Blog Tour! Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley It’s In Paperback! YAY! YAY! YAY!”
Yay for the paperback release!
Where Things Come Back definitley looks interesting and I for one love an emotion read that makes me feel it ALL.
Hopefully I'll get to this soon. Pretty sure the paperback releases here in Australia soon. That or I did see a copy at my library! Why didn't I get it when I first saw it you say? Trying to clear my shelf a bit more but I'm sure I'll get to it real soon 😉
I ordered my paperback copy thru book depository, so even if it doesn't release in Australia it should be available that way if you decide to get it, right? It's a GREAT book, Rebecca. I don't doubt for a second you'll love it, with your love for great contemps. It's marvelous. I can't wait to put this paperback beside my hardback. This is actually the only book that I own that I'll have the hard and paper copies.
I've been meaning to read this book for a while, so I hope I get my hands on it soon. It sounds really, really good!
It's excellent, Alexa! Love it so much. Seriously. Can't say enough awesome about it.
Clearly, I need to read this book. That is all.
YES. There are a TON of things in this one to discuss, and I know you love discussing books as much as I do. I was scared of it because I though it would be too emotional for me, so I avoided it for AGES, but when I finally decided to read it – I devoured it. And it wasn't too emotional but just perfect. It IS really, really great.
I love that you chose to talk about the book's playlist 🙂 Because of Corey I have paid more attention to Sufjan Steven's music. That boy has awesome taste in music!
Thank you so much Asheley for being a part of this book tour with me 🙂
LOVE Sufjan. LOVE him. Also love this book.
Okay, you may have had me when you mentioned the Sufjan Stevens reference. Amazing!
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I had such a great time reading this book that I bought an extra copy – one to keep for myself and one to pass along and share with family and friends.