Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Title: Noggin
Author: John Corey Whaley
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Bookworld via their Readers Rewards program

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 by Nara

All I knew about Noggin before reading it was that it was about a boy who had his head cryogenically frozen and then sewn onto someone else's body.
Really, isn't that all you need to want to get your hands on a copy of this book?
However, for the sake of a proper review, let me continue.

After reading this book some other things I now know about Noggin:
1. It's a book about a boy who had his head cryogenically frozen and then sewn onto someone else's body, but it's not only about this boy. It's about his best friend, his girlfriend, his parents, the new friend he makes at school, and how this time leap has affected them all.

2. The main character Travis, is a bit annoying at times. He has this very firm conviction that his girlfriend (or rather, ex-girlfriend since she now has a fiance) is still in love with him, and he has difficulty with accepting that she has moved on. I think that this annoying aspect of his character is what makes him most real. It's completely understandable that one might have difficulty moving forward when everyone you know has suddenly aged 5 years, and you're stuck in the past, not knowing what your future holds.

3. Don't even try and wrap your head around the medical aspect of things. As someone with quite a strong scientific and medical background, I could not stop my eyes from rolling at the thought of transplanting someone's head onto someone else's body. I mean, how could you even attach all the nerves in the spinal cord of the body to the appropriate nerve endings in the head? Yeah, so don't read this book expecting science.

Read this book expecting an examination of human nature, and one boy's resistance in accepting that times have changed and his very real, very emotional journey to adapt and thrive.

Really liked it

Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 2/5