Being a teenager can be awkward: The acne, the hormones, the constantly making an idiot out of yourself. When I was 16 I had a date with a girl, not just any girl, a girl whose looks could melt statues.
I had recently purchased a car for myself, a VW bug that cost less than an iPod touch. I parked it outside of her house before our big first date and when she came out everything went into slow motion, she opened the passenger side door and slid in like a dream, I could smell her perfume and her shampoo and she was perfect and I was sweating stones that could crush entire cities.
Trying to maintain some shred of coolness, I looked at her and in my best nonchalant voice I said, "Hey, you look really nice."
She turned and looked at me with her ice-blue eyes, her long blonde hair falling down over her shoulders and she said, "Is that a Q-Tip in your ear?"
So yeah, being a teenager can be awkward.
Now imagine all of that PLUS the fact that you die of leukaemia, get your head chopped off and reattached to another body and wake up five years after your death.
Yes, this is what "Noggin'" is all about. Travis Coates wakes up after agreeing to an experimental and controversial medical procedure in which his head is removed from his dying body, cryogenically frozen and attached to the body of some poor sap that died of a brain tumour and didn't have much use for his head.
The pros: Travis' new body is in much better shape than his old one, and apparently his new feet are pretty rad at skateboarding. Oh yeah, there's the whole 'being alive' perk too.
The cons: It's been five years since Travis 'died,' so all of his friends are at college and he's still in high school. Then there's the fact that his pre-beheading girlfriend has moved on and is engaged to another guy. Most people in Travis' life believed that the procedure wouldn't work, not even his parents, so they removed everything from his room, and his best friend, who spilled some pretty heavy secrets to Travis on his deathbed, is acting very strange now that he's back from the dead.
There's also a bizarre side effect to being reanimated, the fame. Paparazzi hound his home and his school, everyone wants to look at his scar, people send boat loads of letters to him proclaiming that he's either the second coming of Christ or Satan himself. His face is on the news every single night.
Whaley has a great knack for making you laugh out loud and get choked up almost on the same page, the dialogue is crisp and smart and the characters are people that I wish I could've hung out with when I was in high school. Highly recommended.