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review 2016-06-06 17:04
A Squirrel Tried to Kill Me while I read 'Noggin' by John Corey Whaley
Noggin - John Corey Whaley

A squirrel tried to kill me.


I was sitting in an Adirondack chair under a Maple Tree enjoying the evening breeze, reading the book 'Noggin' by John Corey Whaley. When I hear a loud whooshing sound of something falling through the leaves. I screamed and moved out of the way.


There sitting beside me on the ground was a half-eaten apple. I looked up at the tree and saw a squirrel peeking through the leaves at me. "Damn squirrel!" I yelled and opened my book back up.


Moments later, I see the squirrel sitting in the lilac bush plotting how to get his apple back.


I did manage to finish reading Noggin despite being almost murdered by a squirrel. 


Noggin is so funny and incredibly sad at the same time that your laughter fights with your tears. This book is my favorite of the year!

'Listen--I was alive once and then I wasn't. Simple as that. Now, I'm alive again. The in-between part is still a little fuzzy, but I can tell you that, at some point or another, my 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.

"Found her," he interrupted. "She's at Carrie's OK Bar. It's downtown."
"What the hell is Carrie's OK Bar?"
"It's a karaoke bar. Travis, come on."
"Wait, how do you know she's there?"
"She checked in there about twenty minutes ago."
"What does that mean?"
"Oh. Right. Since you left, it's become very important that we all constantly know each other's thoughts, locations, and birthdays."
"That's really stupid. Except for in this one very specific situation. I can't go if her fiancé's there, though. That would be too weird."
"He's not."
"How do you know?"
"Because she put 'Girls' Night' with about five exclamation points after it."
"Are people just asking to be murdered?"
"Pretty much. So are we going?”


"I'm not sure I can do this anymore."
"Do what?"
"This. Exist. Be here like this with everything so fucked up."
"Hey, Travis? I don't think it really matters if you know how to exist."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't think any of us do."
"Then what are we doing?"
"I don't know. We're just meandering."


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review 2015-09-27 04:12
Noggin Book Review
Noggin - John Corey Whaley

I've been meaning to read Noggin for a while now, especially since it won an award. What a strange concept though. It definitely is not what I expected but I did read through it quickly and enjoyed the quirky characters.


Travis had cancer and died. But five years later he wakes up with his head attached to a different body, the cancer gone. But so is his best friend Kyle and his bow ex girl-friend. He feels like he's only seen them a day ago but in reality he's back in high school and their in college. New friends and a new life comes with his new body. 


I wanted more from this. Noggin seemed much more a contemporary story than a science fiction story. Which is really what I was hoping for. The characters are fun and I loved the friendship between Travis and his girlfriend and best friend - even five years difference. But, I do wish it went into the scientific part behind the switching bodies was more in the story. 



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review 2015-07-17 15:45
Noggin - John Corey Whaley

Just another YA book, if you take aside the whole body-transplant. Too bad Travis spends more time moping on his (ex) girlfriend than having struggles accepting a new body (which he never does, anyway).

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review 2015-01-05 23:32
Noggin - John Corey Whaley

This is probably one of the single most powerful books I have read in my entire life. It made me want to laugh, to cry, to shake Travis silly. It takes a lot for a book to impact me on that level, most of the books I have read and love didn't even come close to making me feel how this book did. Travis Coates was an incredibly interesting character, a little thick at times, but that made him all the more interesting. His obsession with the past and placement in a future he didn't want made everything he did, no matter how small, something that seemed quite beautiful. He is the kind of guy I'd want in a best friend, honest and courageous, I couldn't look away even when his actions made me internally cringe. If you haven't already, now would be a great time to jump on the Noggin train, just so you know that once you've hopped on you have no chance of returning. 

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review 2014-12-30 00:00
Noggin - John Corey Whaley "You can find ways to be okay with dying, but you can’t fake your way through living."


Cuando Travis se entera que el cáncer que tiene es incurable, toma la única decisión que le da un poco de esperanza: permitir que le corten la cabeza -la única parte de su cuerpo que el cáncer no ha tocado- y la criogenicen.

"Sometimes you love someone so much that going and doing something crazy like having your head frozen and convincing everyone you’re coming back isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds."

5 años después, Travis está vivo de nuevo. En cuerpo que no es su cuerpo, en una vida que no es la que él esperaba; el tiempo pasó para todos, menos para él. Ahora su mejor amigo está en la universidad y su novia está comprometida.

"I couldn’t really see all that much difference between the life where I was dying and the one where everyone had become a stranger."

Esta es una historia que intenta ser única y cómica. La palabra clave es "intenta", porque no lo logra. Tenemos toda esta trama acerca de la criogenización que promete mucho pero que nunca es realmente explorada, dejándonos con otra historia coming-of-age.

Vemos solo de pasada la lucha de Travis contra el prejuicio de la gente, que lo ve bien como un milagro o como una abominación. Mientras que el mayor enfoque se encuentra en como se esfuerza por encontrarle sentido a su nueva vida, ahora que nada es como era.

Toda la trama involucrando a Cate, fue un poco incomodo de leer(?). Es decir me daba cierta sensación de pena ajena, porque sí, su amor era real, pero tras 5 años de ausencia, Cate aprendió a vivir sin Travis. Y por más que ella le dice "ey, seamos solo amigos" el se niega a aprender a vivir sin ella. Asi que todos los esfuerzos de Travis por reconquistarla resultan un poco patéticos la escena donde le pide matrimonio a Cate, mientras su verdadero prometido está allí con ellos... *cringe* pero también conmovedores.

"I had to find her and tell her, show her, that Travis Coates might be mostly ash in some mystery container hidden in his parents’ house, but that the part of him that found its way back would always be incomplete without her."

Durante toda la lectura tuve un nudo en la garganta. Esta es una de esas historias que te hace sentir y al final te dejan un poco drenado emocionalmente y extrañamente insatisfecho. Y no es que pasen cosas particularmente tristes, nada de manipulación sentimental por parte del autor, es solo que tiene un aire melancólico, un aire de pérdida que es difícil que no te afecte.

Así que, si bien tiene sus defectos, Noggin te hace reflexionar.
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