Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Book: Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Genre: YA Contemporary with a touch of SF... sort of
For: Review
From (and FTC Disclosure): Received for free from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: So this kid has cancer really really bad. So bad that he is going to die. But then his family learns about an experiment a certain doctor is doing where they preserve the head, and then reattach it to a healthy donor body. CREEPY, no? But awesome, yes? So he undergoes this procedure and it works! The book opens when five years later, after he "goes to sleep", he wakes up with a new body and is all better. To him it feels like he just had a nap. But five years have gone by and his life has completely changed. How does a kid deal with something like this? It's not easy.

My Response: Such a great story! So simple really. A sixteen year old kid comes back from the dead and his friends (and girlfriend) are now 21 and gone on with their lives. It makes him crazy. He knows he should feel grateful and yet he's bitter too. And mad. And bugged that they've all gone on. There's so much to think about here and it's touching and sad and funny and crazy. What a great story. JCW, you've done it again!

Bottom Line: I loved it!

Let’s Talk About: Do you think that this is something they'll really figure out how to do? Freeze someone's head to save it,  then thaw it and and then attach it to someone else's body? I mean, think about it. And if we CAN do it, do you think we SHOULD do it?  I have no answers to this one myself. I'd love to know what you think.

Other Reviews:

There’s something just a little bit genius about using a decapitated head as a symbol for teenage identity formation, and I urge you to sample the genius for yourselves. From Reading Rants

It's weird to imagine someone coming back to life, but Whaley made it seem realistic. There wasn't a lot of details concerning the science, but there didn't really have to be. From Shooting Stars Mag

It will make you laugh, and cry, and think about your own mortality in new and weird ways. Make sure you read this book. From Ex Libris


  1. I've seen this cover, but had no idea what the book was about. Sounds like a really good one. I'll have to go request it from EW. Thanks for the head's up, Suey!

  2. I've been meaning to read this author ever since he won the Printz a year or two ago. This sounds like a fascinating idea, though I think I like it more as a symbol than as an actual concept. :)

  3. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this! The premise sounds so interesting.



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