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2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTTravis Coates has a good head...on someone else's shoulders. A touching, hilarious "tour de force of imagination and empathy" (Booklist, starred review) from John Corey...
2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTTravis Coates has a good head...on someone else's shoulders. A touching, hilarious "tour de force of imagination and empathy" (Booklist, starred review) from John Corey...
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  • 2014 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
    Travis Coates has a good head...on someone else's shoulders. A touching, hilarious "tour de force of imagination and empathy" (Booklist, starred review) from John Corey Whaley, author of the Printz and Morris Award–winning Where Things Come Back.
    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 Travis 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 sixteen, but 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, there are going to be a few more scars.

    Oh well, you only live twice.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • John Corey Whaley grew up in Louisiana. His debut novel, Where Things Come Back, was the 2012 winner of the Michael L. Printz and the William C. Morris Awards. You can learn more about him at JohnCoreyWhaley.com and follow him on Twitter: @Corey_Whaley.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books xxpish - Travis Coates is alive. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them, five years had passed. His friends are five years older, and he is still the same age. His girlfriend is engaged to someone else. Travis Coates volunteered to undergo Cryogenic Reanimation after being told he was dying from leukemia. His head was chopped off, put in a freezer, and then put onto someone else’s body. Now Travis’s world has turned upside-down. Why did everything change? How can he go back to his old life—the happy life where he HAD a girlfriend? In a thought-provoking, unique story, Travis is trying to figure everything out; and reclaim the old life he once had. What I thought about it: Noggin was wonderful. It was such a quirky, fun read. This book was so weird—but incredible at the same time. This book has such an absurd concept—but you fall in love with it, and it is amazing how the author came up with this. You almost feel bad for Travis—the poor guy almost died, had to be in a freezer for 5 years, got a new body, and now his best friends are in college and his girlfriend is engaged. :O This book was very much a love story as well as a sci-fi book—it is largely about him trying to get his old girlfriend back. Poor Travis. Chasing after his past, to make it like it was before. I really loved the love (see what I did there? :-) in this book. It added a great touch to to the book. If you are a fan of YA, and/or sci-fi, DEFINITELY pick this book up. You WILL love it. I will definitely read John’s other books! Overall: 9.5 Stars
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 20, 2014
    Like baseball great Ted Williams, Travis Coates has his head surgically removed and cryogenically frozen after he dies (of leukemia at age 16). Unlike Williams, Travis is a fictional character, and five years after his death, technological advances allow doctors to attach his head to a donor body that’s taller and more muscular than the original. Whaley’s second novel (following his Printz-winning Where Things Come Back) is far more concerned with matters of the heart than with how head reattachment surgery would work. Travis awakens to restart where he left off—sophomore year—but everyone he knew has moved on. Best friend Kyle is struggling through college; former girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. As only the second cryogenics patient successfully revived, Travis is in uncharted territory; he’s “over” high school, but not ready to be anywhere else. Travis’s comic determination to turn back the hands of time and win Cate’s love is poignant and heartbreaking. His status in limbo will resonate with teens who feel the same frustration at being treated like kids and told to act like adults. Ages 14–up. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2014
    The madcap story of a boy who loses his head and finds it again. In the not-too-distant future, 16-year-old Travis Coates loses his head once--literally--after a deadly bout with cancer left him for dead. His head, cryogenically frozen as part of an experimental process to bring cancer victims back to life using donors, is the only thing that's left of him until he wakes up with it attached to the body of Jeremy Pratt in the Saranson Center for Life Preservation five years later. From there on out, Travis' life gets just as crazy as Whaley's bizarre setup. Lots of changes have taken place in five years, and Travis soon finds himself losing his head again, in the figurative sense. He has to drag his best friend back out of the closet, discovers terrible secrets about his parents, and pursues his old girlfriend, who is now 21 and engaged to another, great guy, to readers' cringe-inducing embarrassment on his behalf. Readers will recognize the Printz winner's trademark lovable characterizations in Travis' newfound BFF Hatton, who dubs him "Noggin" on his first day back at school. They'll also recognize the poignantly rendered reflections on life, love, death and everything in between. Weird? Yes. Great? Not quite, but it's pretty solid. It may be convoluted as hell, but Whaley's signature cadence and mad storytelling skillz are worth every page. A satisfyingly oddball Frankenstein-like tale of connectivity. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2014

    Gr 9 Up-Travis Coates, 16, is dying of cancer, so he accepts an offer from a cryogenic group to have his head removed and frozen with the hope that it would be attached to another body in the future and he could be reanimated. Five years later, he "wakes up" with a new body and is still 16. There are a few minor problems with his new life-he is a celebrity/freak and gets more attention than he wants, he has to get used to a body that has different abilities than his old one, and he has to go to school with kids he doesn't know. The biggest problem is that Travis's best friend and his girlfriend are now 21 years old and have moved on with their lives while he feels like he has simply taken a nap. Cate is engaged and not interested in in a relationship with a teenager. Travis is obsessed with the idea that he can win her back and won't accept her repeated "no." He tries various means to convince her that he's still the one for her: some hilarious, some touching, some inappropriate, but all definitely sophomoric. The premise of the story is interesting although far-fetched. The author does a good job of describing the emotions and reactions of all of the characters, but Travis's fixation on Cate becomes tiresome and a plot twist at the end feels like it was thrown in just to make the story longer.-Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from November 1, 2013
    Grades 9-12 *Starred Review* Travis Coates has lost his headliterally. As he dies from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, his head is surgically removed and cryogenically frozen. Five years pass, and, thanks to advances in medical science, it becomes possible to reanimate his head and attach it to a donor body. Travis Coates is alive again, but while his family and friends are all 5 years older, Travis hasn't agedhe is still 16 and a sophomore in high school. Awkward? Difficult? Puzzling? You bet. In the past, the two people he could have talked to about this were his best friend, Kyle, and his girlfriend, Cate. But now they're part of the problem. Kyle, who came out to Travis on his deathbed, has gone back into the closet, and Cate is engaged to be married. Stubbornly, Travis vows to reverse these developments by coaxing Kyle out of the closet and persuading Cate to fall in love with him again. How this plays out is the substance of this wonderfully original, character-driven second novel. Whaley has written a tour de force of imagination and empathy, creating a boy for whom past, present, and future come together in an implied invitation to readers to wonder about the very nature of being. A sui generis novel of ideas, Noggin demands much of its readers, but it offers them equally rich rewards. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Whaley's sleeper debut, Where Things Come Back (2011), won both the Michael L. Printz Award and the William C. Morris Award, so readers will be eagerly awaiting this second effort.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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