“Noggin” by John Corey Whaley

Noggin

Travis Coates is sixteen when he is diagnosed with cancer. No treatment helps slow down the cancer cells, so Travis agrees to participate in a cryogenic reanimation experiment where a group of scientists are trying to bring back people from the dead. When Travis dies, his head is removed from his body and frozen since his brain is the only area of his body that is not affected by the cancer. Five years later, Travis wakes up in a hospital alive with his head surgically attached to a different body. He instantly becomes famous for being the second person to have successfully been brought back from the dead. Travis struggles with integrating back into daily life; his best friends are now in college and his extended family is in shock which makes it harder for Travis to accept that he can’t pick up his life where he left off when he died.

This book explores the intriguing scientific concept of bringing people back to life. The book feels like a modern twist on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein; while Travis’s reanimation is an amazing scientific feat, his family and friends have mixed reactions to his return. Most of the characters are glad that Travis came back to life, but they also struggle psychologically because it is hard for them to accept that someone they have grieved over is now back, alive. Even though Travis is gone for five years, he is still sixteen mentally and he has trouble processing that people have moved on with their lives after his death. He tries to get back together with his old girlfriend Cate multiple times, even though she moved on and is engaged to somebody else. This book shows that coming back from the dead has both positive and negative effects on friends and family members. Anybody who is interested in medical advancements and future technology should check out Noggin.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

-Caylee P.

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“The Bridge From Me to You” by Lisa Schroeder

bridge

Colby Pynes, star football player for the Willow Eagles, is expected by everyone to continue playing ball in college. Why would he want to do anything else? He has the talent, college scouts are interested, and his dad is doing his hardest to make sure Colby lives and breathes the sport. But Colby has other ideas for his future, ideas that no longer involve a game he just happens to excel in.

Enter the new girl Lauren. The town is full of whispers and gossip as she moves in with her uncle and his family. Where are her parents? Why did she move her senior year of high school? When Colby and Lauren meet one night at a convenience store, there is a strong connection that neither can ignore. As they start to grow closer, Colby shows Lauren a side of himself few people, if anyone, has truly seen. Colby shares his love of bridges and his desire to major in Civil Engineering instead of playing football in college. But their relationship can’t be one-sided. Lauren is hiding something. Her unwillingness to talk about her mom and brother leave Colby searching for answers Lauren is too scared to provide.

Then, the unthinkable happens as a heartbreaking accident leaves Colby’s best friend and teammate Benny badly broken. Does Colby have the strength to survive football season without his oldest and best friend by his side? Will he be able to convince his dad that football is not what he wants to do? Will Lauren learn to trust the loving family she now finds herself becoming a part of? Should she confide in Colby the truth about her dysfunctional upbringing?

Told in alternating chapters between two very different and beautifully illustrated viewpoints, Lisa Schroeder brings Colby and Lauren, not to mention many quirky and fun secondary characters, truly to life. The struggles both characters face are painted in a very real yet uplifting manner. Schroeder portrays the importance in never giving up and not being afraid to say goodbye to things or people that hurt instead of help. I recommend this wonderful story for anyone who feels capable of taking control of their own destiny and following their heart.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

-Kelly H.