I had very high expectations for the awesomeness of Where Things Come Back as soon as I laid eyes on the cover. (Yes, I judge books by their covers.) The retro font face and indie, folk arty vibe of the cover art immediately won me over. Thankfully, Whaley’s unique voice did the illustration justice. Even though I am well past my teenage years, I easily related to the star character of the book. Cullen Witter is an apathetic, bored teen growing up in the nowhere town of Lily, Arkansas. Seems like a pretty tame story until a Steve Irwin wannabe shows up in Lily advertising his rediscovery of the extinct Larazus Woodpecker. And the quirkiness doesn’t end there, folks! There is a religious zealot, a missing brother, a blossoming romance with a divorcee--this book has subplot in spades. Yet somehow, much to my utter astonishment, Whaley made his totally off-the-wall storyline not only suspenseful, but believable.