ARC Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Monday, 7 April 2014



Book: Noggin

Author: John Corey Whaley

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Release Date: April 8th

Pages: 342 Pages

Format: ARC 

Source: Recieved for Review from Simon and Schuster

Where to Buy: Chapters Indigo, The Book Depository, Amazon

I recieved this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Goodreads Summary 

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.


When I first read the synopsis of this book, I don't know why, but I got the feel that this was going to be a kidnapping, or a heist story. It just made it seem like the main character, Travis, did not know why his head was removed or why it was reattached to someone elses body. I was very surprised when I found out that this book was a contemporary about a boy with cancer. I wasn't unhappy, just surprised.

I think that my one main problem with this book was that it took a long time to get to the substance of the novel. The book itself was good, but the last 40 or so pages were incredible. They were thought provoking and really lovely and I really wish that the book was more like that.

The plot was interesting, but it didn't fully capture my attention. It moved quickly, but sometimes I felt like certain points were repetitive and unnecessary. These moments were based around the romance. I felt like the romance was not necessary, and it put me in a really bad mood. I just thought that the story would have been better told if Travis had focused more on his friends and his family situation, which is only touched on.

The one thing I did like was the writing. The witty banter, the great descriptions, and wonderful inner monolouge. I think I got through about 150 pages and I hadn't even noticed because it just flowed so nicely. When people talk about John Corey Whaley's other book, Where Things Come Back, they always talk about his beautiful writing. And I totally agree.

While Noggin was a good read, I didn't find anything special in it. John Corey Whaley tells a great story that made me both laugh, and tear up at times, but it still wasn't enough for me. It's a solid read, but not a great book. 3/5 stars.

-Indigo
@indigowayworth

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