Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

 Title: Noggin

 Author: John Corey Whaley

 Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

 Date Published: April 8, 2014

 Genre: Contemporary

 Pages: 352


     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 Travis 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 sixteen, but 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, there are going to be a few more scars.
    Oh well, you only live twice.


     I was very interested in this book from the flap, and I didn't realize that it is still relatively new until I started reading it. That being said, I was not disappointed by the book at all. The 3 star rating is because I didn't like some aspects of the book, but I was by no means let down by the content or writing.
     I really felt bad for Travis. After reading this book, I feel like it would've been a lot easier to wake up a thousand years in the future. The concept of this book is stellar, and I've never seen it done before, at least not in this way. While the concept was interesting, I felt like things could've moved along at a quicker pace. The book's pacing was pretty slow overall, and some things that were major weren't fleshed out enough, while things that I got tired of were really drawn out. This is where the book lost its five-star status for me.
     Travis was a great lead. He was funny, down to earth, and super relatable even though his plight isn't. The lineup of characters in this book were all pretty decent. No matter what, I never disliked any of them, and I felt that they all treated each other with the respect that they deserved (which was super nice). All of Travis' friends were characters that I appreciated and added some new level to the story.
     The book fell short because of some wonky pacing issues, and because of the ending. I understand that the ending was open, but that, ultimately, Travis had agreed to spend his life as a sixteen-year-old. That being said, I wanted more closure because I really connected with the characters. Maybe an epilogue where we could see into the future and see what had become of everyone? That's all I ask for.
     I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and besides a few minor issues, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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