Whaley’s high concept story provides an interesting framework in which to explore how relationships with our loved ones can change and evolve as we move through life. Travis is obsessed with winning back his first girlfriend, Cate, who mourned him and is now engaged to someone else, and the lengths he goes to prove his love drive much of the plot. Whaley rolls with the ridiculous and unbelievable scenarios that unfold in the novel, laying the groundwork to interesting and complicated relationships with each of his friends and his parents. Travis is slow to accept his new life and sometimes Whaley back away from pivotal conversations and confrontations, choosing to recount them out of scene, which jars the pacing at times. However, Noggin is a very funny, very clever book with a strong voice and important insights about love, relationships, death, and second chances.
Cover Comments: I like how bright and simple this cover is. I'm not sure what sort of message the doll on the cover will send, but I think it makes for an eye-catching cover nonetheless. (Related...the doll looks like someone I think I should know.)
Noggin will be released on April 8th, 2014!
ARC picked up at the Heartland Fall Forum.