March 15, 2015

Noggin by Corey Whaley

Imagine waking up from a five year sleep, finding your head on a different body, and realizing that what was a fleeting moment in time to you, the people you knew have moved on and changed...

Sixteen year old Travis Coates has been battling cancer but through a supportive family, good friends and a loving girl friend he has been able to emotionally pull through. Now, the cancer is ravaging his body, and he will die. Learning that a new medical technology is being explored that will allow the transplantation of human heads, he applies and is accepted. He will have his head severed from the diseased body, and cryogenically frozen until the technology is ready, and the right donor comes along.

Fast forward five years, Travis Coates wakes up with a new body. He is now a nationwide celebrity...known as "the head kid." Adjustment isn't easy. His girlfriend, Cate, is now 21, and engaged to be married. His best friend Kyle is in college, all his clothes and belongings are gone, and the worst part is, is that he must go to high school as a sophomore. All of these situations will create challenges for Travis, some of which he can stand up to, but others will prove to be difficult.

When I first read the inside flap of the dust cover. I laughed with hilarity, thinking that this was the most ridiculous premise for a book. I had no intention in reading it. I then heard that the book was a finalist for the National Book Award. I read the reviews, and decided to give it a try. What I found was a book that explores the emotional and physical ramifications of what this procedure could bring. It is done with sensitivity and good writing. As I was finishing, news reports were coming out, discussing this very issue. Check out the article in New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530103.700-first-human-head-transplant-could-happen-in-two-years.html#.VQYkI0JJWGQ

While not a fantastic read, its very good, and certainly worth your time. For more mature readers, containing some strong language.
Reed Reads Score: 4