Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Book Title: Noggin
Author: John Corey Whaley
Published Date: April 8th, 2014
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Contemporary
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Eeeeeep! This book was such an awesome treat. It was quirky, interesting and it managed to combine science fiction elements with a contemporary feel. I really wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it because I am so picky about my science fiction stories and this one seemed so out there that I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I mean come on, a kid’s head is sawed off of his body after death and then it’s stored in the freezer of a cryogenic facility in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, they are able to reattach the head to a donor body and magically Travis wakes up?

Doesn’t that sound just a bit far fetched?

It definitely did to me, but I fell for the characters. For Travis’s family he was basically gone for 5 years, but to Travis it feels like only seconds have passed. Suddenly everything is different, his best friend Kyle retreated back into the closet, Travis’s longtime love Cate is now engaged to another guy and Kyle’s sister, who five years ago, was a gangly 9 year old has transformed into something of a hottie.

It was Travis’s voice that hooked me. He was desperately trying to find his place in the world again. Yes, he was a little obsessive about Cate and that did drive me a little batty, but I had to keep reminding myself that he had been gone for 5 years, but to Travis it felt like he had only been gone a nanosecond. He was trying to reclaim his friendship with Kyle even though he didn’t understand what had happened to Kyle. Why had Kyle slipped back into the closet?

I really enjoyed this book, but I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I wanted a little more resolution in the end. It felt very open ended and while I can see why that was done, I craved more. Craving more is definitely the mark of a great book. I going to give this book 4 stars. I definitely need to buy myself a copy of this book.

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