cover image Noggin


John Corey Whaley, read by Kirby Heybourne. S&S Audio, Unabridged, seven CDs, 8.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-6985-6

In Whaley’s novel , Travis Coates has his head surgically removed and cryogenically frozen after he dies of leukemia at age 16. Five years after his death, technological advances allow doctors to attach his head to a donor body that is taller and more muscular than the original. Travis awakens to restart life where he left off—sophomore year—,but it has only been five years, just long enough for everyone in he knows to have moved on. His best friend Kyle is struggling through college; his former girlfriend Cate is engaged to someone else. Heybourne masterfully captures the emotional roller coaster of Travis’s journey into a new life—and body. His ability to capture the inflection of this first-person narrative while conveying Travis’s emotions—and often disorientation—is truly commendable. Less praiseworthy is his portrayal of Travis’s two male friends, who are often difficult to distinguish from one another. Otherwise, Heybourne keeps listeners thoroughly engaged in this audio rendition of a truly original story. Ages 14–up. A S&S/Atheneum hardcover. (Apr.)