Noggin – book review

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin is the hilarious and heart-warming book, written by John Corey Whaley.

Travis Coates was alive. And then he wasn’t. And now he is again. The things in the middle are a little fuzzy, but at some point, Travis got his head chopped off and shoved into a freezer. Travis expected his head to get attached to a body hundreds of years in the future. But when he reawakens five years later reattached to some other guy’s body, he sees that it doesn’t take a century for everyone around him to change.

Travis is still 16, but things have changed while he was gone. This includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a little fuzzy too. The new Travis and the old Travis are going to need to find a way to exist together. After all, you only live twice.


When I first started reading Noggin, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I wasn’t expecting a heart-warming book about friendship and love. I wasn’t expecting an emotional read that would have me both laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to fall in love with it like I did. All of those things happened, making this book one I’d definitely recommend.

At first I was a little skeptical as to what approach this book would take. Written from the point of view of Travis Coates, who had his head cut off and attached to another body, I didn’t know what to expect. I was a little worried that this book might try and be really hilarious. But I was even more worried everything would be really serious and thus come across as fake. I think this book had the best possible outcome – which was in fact a bit of both. This book was really fun and funny, as well as serious in all the right places. I found it really easy to connect with Travis because it was so easy to understand his thoughts and sympathise with his story. I absolutely loved his sense of humour and he always put a smile on my face.

So this book is ultimately Travis’s story of how he comes back to life and then struggles to reconnect with the people he used to know. His head was cut off due to medical reasons and reattached to another body. Travis expected to awake hundreds of years in the future, but instead he wakes up and only five years had passed. Not enough time for everything to change and not enough time for people to move on completely. All of the people Travis used to know were just starting to move on with their lives when he reappeared. I loved seeing how big of an effect Travis’s absence had on these people for the five years he was gone. I enjoyed seeing him try to reconnect with his old friends and most importantly, his girlfriend from the past.

The relationships between all the characters were beautiful. I especially loved meeting Hatton, who was Travis’s new friend. Hatton was a really funny person and I loved the scenes with him and Travis. With everything Travis had been thinking about Cate, his girlfriend from when he was alive the first time, I loved getting to know her more personally. As the story progresses, we see Travis trying to live a normal life again. However, he’s being swarmed by the media and his picture is all over TV screens and magazines. Not only is Travis trying to adjust, he has to do it with everyone watching. I enjoyed seeing how Travis dealt with everything and I loved how he saw everything positively.

There was this one scene in this book that I simply couldn’t stop laughing in. It was literally 2am because I decided I just had to know what was going to happen, and then came the most hilarious part of the book. I couldn’t stop the shrieks of laughter escaping me. This book had me laughing plenty of times before, but this part of the book would have to be my absolute favourite. If and when you read this book, look out for Rodrigo and his maraca shouting ‘man’ at the funniest of times. Man, I love Rodrigo.

Overall, I have to admit that this book is quite strange, but I absolutely loved it. It was funny, touching and heart-warming. I’d definitely recommend reading Noggin by John Corey Whaley and I’d give it a score of 9 out of 10. I can’t wait to reread this book again soon!

A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!

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