Book reviews

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

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

I have no idea how Whaley thought of this idea. It’s so original and quirky that my brain could never conjure it up. From the first look, you think “What is this?”, it seems strange and that may put you off it but STAY and READ. It’s a HILARIOUS read. The main character is so funny that your insides will hurt and by the end, you’ll just want more.

My rating: 90%

Spoilers

In my head, this book is considered the book after the “happy ending” except this time there is A LOT more to what happens after the said “Happy Ending”. There is more than just coming back to life. Everyone has grown up without him; graduating school, getting boyfriends, being divorced, moving on.
Travis had a lot of depth as a character, he was hilarious and I mean it, he said the funniest things in the world but at the same time, his voice of worry and desperation was clearly visible. He wanted people to understand what it felt to be left behind with people who he remembered being younger than him, who were now, older. And Cate was the many person he wanted to understand the most and he wanted her to understand him so that she would come back to him. In this book, we really get to see how much difference 5 years can do. His parents are divorced, his girlfriend is engaged to someone that isn’t him and his best friend has some coming out issues.
Let’s start with Cate.
She was a very emotional character. At the beginning, it seemed that she was crying ALL THE TIME, especially when she first met Travis since he woke up. Well, it’s realistic that she was overwhelmed but since we were reading from Travis’ POV, it seemed that she didn’t have it so bad compared to him. She didn’t have her one true love move on to another guy and now fiance, or wake up, then later discover that his parents are divorced and it’s mostly because of him.
I never expected the ending. In fact, throughout this whole novel, I was trying to figure out what kind of ending we should be expecting and I kind of got a satisfied one but I have to say, I REALLY wanted more.
Our ending was this:
Travis understands now that he cannot get Cate back.
Cate will marry Turner.
They’re friends and they will continue to go by their lives as friends who used to be soulmates.

And then, we got a one month later epilogue with Travis beginning to play his favorite arcade game.

I finished this book going “What? Is this it?”

This book was deep, it explored the issue of change. Is it good or bad? And I think we can conclude that it is neither in this unique case. I was really enjoyed Tarvis, Hatton and Kyle’s friendship. It was that good o’l guy messing around kind. It was funny and light-hearted and I think we can all agree, that the scene with their conversations were highlights.
The idea of a cranium transplant was a REALLY unique one and I mean, really unique.
Do you think that’s possible in the future?

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5 thoughts on “Noggin by John Corey Whaley

      1. It is! It was a random pick from a trip to the book store so I didn’t expect too much from it, but I recommend it for those looking for a great YA novel.

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