My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Noggin starts out with a crazy sci-fi premise: Travis Coates, a 16-year-old boy dying of cancer, has his head cut off and frozen in the hopes that one day, there will be a cure. Most people think this was just his way out of, but it actually happens, and Travis comes back – his head attached to a new (taller and stronger!) body.
While for Travis, it’s only been a long nap since he last saw his friends and family, for them it’s been five years, and they have to adjust from mourning Travis to celebrating the “miracle.” And while Travis’ birth certificate might say he’s 21, he’s still a high school student, only now he doesn’t know anyone in his class. Some things haven’t changed – he has to retake his math class for one. But other things will never be the same. His father is never home, working crazy hours that may be a cover for something else. His best friend, who shared his deepest secret when he thought Travis was dying, is now wishing that secret had stayed dead. And his girlfriend Cate, whom Travis truly loved, has fallen in love – and gotten engaged – to someone new.
While the premise is pure science fiction, this story is really about a regular boy in a regular high school, and how he copes with love and loss. It’s authentic and funny and made me cry, and I’m eagerly waiting to see what Whaley comes up with next.