Monday, September 22, 2014

Audiobook Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Audio CD Giveaway Below !

  • Narrated by Kirby Heyborne
  • Release Date: April 8th 2014
  • Pages: 356
  • Audiobook Hours: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Genre: Science Fiction ???
  • Publisher: Antheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster)

First off, congrats to John Corey Whaley and Noggin for being longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award !

From man eating grasshoppers to Wizard of Oz revisited there were a lot of high concept YAs this year, but of all of them Noggin (and it’s weird cover) caught my attention; A boy whose head is cryogeniclly frozen and then reattached to someone else’s body.

I like to think of Noggin as the book with the blue cover about cancer written by a guy named John that you aren't talking about.

In Travis Coates’ last days of battling leukemia he and his family decide to participate in an experimental procedures where his head will cut off his dying body, cryogenically frozen and then reattached to a healthy body when the science is right. Travis expects to wake up in the distant future, but when he opens his eyes again, he has the body of Jeremy Pratt and it’s only 5 years later.

When I first heard about this book, I had expected it to be science fiction-y in the vein of Unwind by Neil Shusterman, but it’s really not. It’s more of a coming of age story about how Travis learns to live a life where everyone he knows has lived 5 years assuming they'd never see him again. His friends are all 21-years-old, his girlfriend is engaged to someone else and his parents don't know how to react to him. I've read a few books about people dying, but for some reason I found this novel about someone living to be really sad.  

I’ll admit, nothing much happens in this book plot wise, Whaley has a great concept and characters, but he didn’t seem to know where to take them and the end felt a little tacked on. But, that was fine with me I really like the aimless wandering books. There is a major subplot involving Travis trying to get back with his girlfriend, but I found those parts especially cringe-y. And while Travis seems completely serious about his attempt, I think Whaley realizes how juvenile Travis' attempts are.

What really stuck out to about this book is that it’s funny. Humor in books is so weird, I rarely find myself laughing at books like I do with TV and movies, but I was chuckilng out loud a few times. I do think some of that comes from listening to the audiobook. One of the reasons I requested this book from Simon and Schuster is because Kirby Heyborne does the audio book. I think he has the perfect youthful voice for YA and he can really interpret lines that don't have direction.

Now, JCW is no newbie to YA fiction his debut, Where Things Come Back won the Printz ( and has been sitting on my TBR shelf since) in 2011 . I am excited to see what he writes next ! 

*Audiobook received for review from Simon & Schuster

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  1. My most anticipated 2014 read is probably Blue Lily, Lily Blue.

  2. My most anticipated read this year was a tie between Ruins by Dan Wells and City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. And I am still waiting on The Retribution of Mara Dyer!

  3. My most anticipated 2014 read is Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers!! I loved the first two books in His Fair Assassin series and this is the final book which comes out in November! :) :)

  4. I'm listening to this one right now, on "the world's longest" drives to school, and I'm liking it so far. I thought it was going to be weird and all about science, but I like that it's just about an average teenage kid! Excited to go to school tomorrow to keep listening to it!


  5. Great pics ! I need to catch up on TMI series...

  6. Jess liked the first book in this series, I need to read these !


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