Book Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Travis died from cancer, but now he’s alive again. The doctors froze his head and put it onto another body, and here he is, five years later. Still 16 with all his friends grown and his parents a little bit grayer. Now Travis has to cope with figuring out who he is in relation to all these strangers who’ve lived without him for five years, but to him, it’s only been seconds.

Let’s talk about how stupid this book sounds at first. You read the back, think, “what the heck…?” and shake your head. Then you stop and realize, “holy crap this could be really interesting!” and now you’ve bought the book and you’re walking out the book store with a bag and an excited smile.

The premise is extremely unique, and the whole plot and Travis’ problems are unheard of. I enjoyed reading a pretty normal contemporary novel that had a bit of a twist.

The thing is the twist didn’t really define the book. Sure, it’s brought up that he died and is alive again and that is the source of all his problems, but otherwise, the book is run-of-the-mill young adult contemporary. Average. The writing style is typical of most first-person male protagonists, and Travis’ voice doesn’t give away to any crazy enlightenment.

I honestly didn’t even like Travis that much. Life is hard, I get it, but he’s so whinny. I couldn’t take him doing all these crazy things to get his girlfriend back (sorry, she’s moved on, accept it already, jeez) and he complained entirely too much for someone who just got back from the dead.

This is a prime example of a book with the Holden Caulfield Syndrome. Travis is nothing like Holden. He doesn’t have the same perspective or thoughts or interest in the world around him. Honestly, he’s pretty selfish and just focuses on getting his life back on track and not how everyone else feels at seeing him back in the living world again.

I actually don’t even have much to say about this book. I thought I’d find a bunch of cute quotes about dying and living but I didn’t find anything that enlightening, and I didn’t find anything original, either. The plot premise is very unique, and I’m glad I read it, but I was disappointed at the sheer mediocrity of the book as a whole.

3 Stars

“You can find ways to be okay with dying, but you can’t fake your way through living.”

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One thought on “Book Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

  1. Pingback: Monthly Wrap Up: Free from February | Stealing Pages

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