BOOK REVIEW – Noggin by John Corey Whaley

BOOK REVIEW – Noggin by John Corey WhaleyNoggin by John Corey Whaley
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


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.

: Don’t seek scientific accuracy because there’s none, and, really, that’s not the point. You don’t believe me? Just imagine I’d ask John Corey Whaley if he wanted to tell a realistic story, scientifically wise.

“Yeah. Sure. That’s exactly why I chose to talk about a guy whose head is cut off then frozen THEN attached to someone else’s body. Sure.” *side glances* – who is this crazy chick?

There’s this weird thing we often use when reading scifi, called suspension of disbelief. That sums it up. *blows kiss*

That does not mean that I enjoyed Noggin. Hell, by the end I pretty much hated it. I just thought I’d point that scientific inaccuracy was by no means what bothered me.

Say, you are a 16 years old guy dying from cancer. You want to come back from the dead years after with a new body? You think that’s a good idea? That it must be fun to discover a whole new self?

Well, think again.

✘ First it’s so fucking gross. There are whole parts of yourself you have to make acquaintance with *cough* your new penis *cough*.

✘ Your friends have moved on in their lives and frankly? The whole “I return from the dead” trip is freaking them out something fierce… or so you suppose, because that’s not as if they would welcome you anyway, let alone talk to you (they’ll get over it, but still). Basically you took the longest nap of your life. 5 years. Except that wasn’t a nap for people who loved you. They missed you. They mourned you. Then they went through the 7 phases of grief and created a new life without you. Yeah, that sucks, but hey! We can’t blame them. But you, YOU. Think about you. You didn’t miss them. You didn’t move on, because HELLO, 5 min nap! You are stuck in a 16 years old body while they’re 5 years older now.

✘ Oh, and you’re a miracle (or an abomination, depending on who’s talking to you). Three blessings and 24/7 covering, here’s the new guy everyone is gossiping about! Just smile already.

You don’t? Awwww. What an ungrateful little jerk you are, really. Just be happy already.

We can’t blame Travis for being confused, messed-up, and a little angry. His behavior is pretty realistic. I know that. BUT the delusion, man. This is too-much.

*Delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. OR :

Albeit well-written, funny and moving at times, Travis’ mess story was incredibly frustrating : after having (really) enjoyed the beginning, I wanted to submit him to an intervention pretty fast, to be honest.

TRAVIS, JUST MOVE THE FUCK ON. Cate is 21. She has lived without you for 5 years. And that doesn’t mean that she didn’t love you before but she is engaged now, buddy. I’d hate for you to do something embarrass-

Oh, never mind. Of course you’re RIGHT. Of course EVERYBODY is wrong. GD.

I can’t help but HATE when characters say things like “I’m gonna make her change her mind. I’m gonna go all sneaky and tell her that’s okay to be just friends but in fact I’ll plot the end of her (happy) relationship”. I CAN’T. Past is in the past. I’m sorry, but that’s how I feel it. That’s why even though I felt bad for him, even though I could understand why he felt that way, I couldn’t get past his absolute denial of everyone else’s feelings, especially Cate, his former girlfriend, and Kyle, his best-friend.

By the end I couldn’t stand him, and his burgeoning self-loathing didn’t help either. Perhaps I’m being unfair, but really, what can I say about a book where the male-lead, if not a complete asshole, is making me cringe so bad that I struggle to finish his story?

I’ll give it a 2, no matter how much I enjoyed the first 20 percents, no matter how original the concept is, no matter how many tears threatened to fall from my eyes in the beginning. Because, really, who enjoys a book where we only want for the MC to shut the fuck up?

Certainly not me.

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  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Oh, wow. Okay, I don’t think I’d like this one either because Travis breaking up his ex’s happy relationship would REALLY bug me. I would hate him too. Guess I’ll skip this one.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 11/22/15My Profile

    • Anna

      Yeah, I mean, I GET it, because he just woke up and for him it’s only been a few weeks but it lasted way too long 🙁 It was obvious that she was happy with her soon-to-be-husband so you know, that was painful to watch :/

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