Monday, April 28, 2014

High School Pick: Noggin

by John Corey Whaley
Antheneum Books for Young Readers
340 pages
ISBN: 9781442458727

Strange but moving, wildly inventive and brutally honest, daring, scary and wonderful,  Noggin is a story that will pull at readers' heartstrings.

Travis Coates is sick...really, really sick and dying. When doctors approach him and his parents with the idea of saving his life...well, somewhere down the line, Travis is willing to take that chance. Upon Travis's demise, his head will be saved and frozen with the hope that some day in the future, doctors can attach it to a new body, and Travis can begin life again.

Five years pass and Travis wakes up. The trouble is--time has passed for everyone but Travis. Friends have graduated and started their new lives, yet Travis is still in high school. His girlfriend Cate  is engaged to another man. His phone calls to her and friend Kyle  go unanswered. His parents tell him not to worry--that they will come around; they just need time.

Travis becomes a media darling. Reporters and camera people follow him to school. They all want to get a glimpse of the boy who died. Only one other person has gone through a procedure like Travis, and his doctor thinks it's a good idea for Travis and Lawrence to talk about their experiences.

Readers will empathize with Travis and his loneliness. He wishes everything to be how it was before he got sick. Time has passed and people change. He is going to have to accept the change, for better or worse and figure out a way to live with it.

Matthew Quick (author of The Silver Linings Playbook says, "The absolute best head-transplant-surgery love story I've ever read and instantly one of my favorite young adult novels. You can practically feel this book's big beautiful heart beating in your hands."

A must read for everyone grade 9-up. Some sex, talk of sex, death and dying, life and living.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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