Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Posted April 5, 2014 by shooting in Uncategorized / 20 Comments

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Review by Lauren

In Stores April 8th!

copy from publisher, but all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. 

Now he’s alive again.
Simple as that. 

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too. 

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars. 

Oh well, you only live twice.

Review: To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book when I first picked it up. I wasn’t a huge fan of the title or the cover, as it made the story seem a bit immature. I want to mention this for those of you who may have first thoughts similar to mine because I can safely say now that I highly enjoyed this book. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read the book and get inside the head (pun intended) of Travis Coates.

Travis was sixteen and dying of cancer. There was no chance of his recovery, so he talked his parents into allowing him to join a science experiment. They would cut off his head, freeze it, and maybe sometime in the future he could be brought back to life. He never really thought it would work, and definitely not in five years time. Now, he’s sixteen all over again, and he has to deal with his best friend Kyle and girlfriend Cate having grown up without him. Not to mention being stuck on another guys’ body instead of his own. Travis is definitely having a rough “second life.”

I liked that the overall story is a typical coming-of-age. Travis’ life is different from most (there is only one other person who has successfully survived this experiment) but he still has to deal with typical teenage situations like girls, friends, and family life. It’s weird to imagine someone coming back to life, but Whaley made it seem realistic. There wasn’t a lot of details concerning the science, but there didn’t really have to be. It makes sense that something like this could exist, and besides, the after-effects are much more interesting.

There were moments in the book where you wanted to shake Travis into reality. His emotions were stuck in the past, while those he most cared about had grown up. It was easy to see both sides of their situations, but it’s hard to see Travis continually reach for something you don’t think he can get. He’s a character you grow to care for and understand though. As are the rest of the characters. I especially liked Travis’ new friend, Hatton. He’s obsessed with girls, always speaking his mind, and pretty hilarious.

In the end, if you aren’t sure about this book, I would suggest giving it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!

20 responses to “Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

  1. The cover on this sort of makes me laugh, there is just something so old school about it. 😛

    So glad you gave this one a chance and then really ended up liking it.

    Great review!!

    Are you on bloglovin'? I looked for a button to follow but didn't find one. 😉

  2. WEIRD. I'm not sure what to say other than that. But if you say it works, then maybe I should give it a try. One of my friends is good friends with this author and also says the book is wonderful.

  3. A lot of people have been saying how this one is more than meets the eye with the coming of age story. I thought it would be kind of juvenile when I first read the synopsis, but now the reviews are making this one sound better 🙂 Glad you liked this one!

  4. Sounds like an unique story, and I'm glad to see that you enjoyed it! Guess this is another example of how we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, as I wouldn't have picked this one up either. Great review!

  5. I like the concept, but I'd prefer it if the characters were older. I'm not much into YA anymore. Well, except for a few that have caught my eye. I may still try this one some day.

  6. Interesting. I think this is one cancer book that I could read. It seems like it is more upbeat and definitely different. I agree I had no interest in looking into this based on cover alone but I am hearing some good things. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  7. *blinks*

    Well, the cover is definitely different. As far as the plot goes, I think I will have to wait on reading something like this.

  8. Cool, yours is the second review I've seen for this one and the second review that was positive! The cover and title don't really call to me either, but now that I know that two trusted reviewers have loved it, I'll definitely have to give it a go sometime!

  9. Whoa, I think I'm really intrigued now. Not gonna lie, I would never pick up this book because of the title and the cover. I guess I kind of see why they made that choice now after I read the review, but it's till weird. I will probably get a sample or something to try out 😛

  10. I've been really curious about this book! It sounds just a little bit different to what I usually read, but I imagine that will be a refreshing change. I've also heard lots of good things about it so far. I will have to give it a try one day. 🙂

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