At first consideration of spending time with Noggin, I was at an unpopular loss of words — there weren’t two that motivated me enough to read anything grounded in such a preposterous premise. Yet against my very prejudices, I conformed to the favorable reviews of critics, may I say, with much delight.
The surprisingly convincing story of Noggin encompasses 16-year-old Travis Coates and his struggles with being shocked back into life. Travis's story begins at his deathbed. Under the mercy of an untreatable lymphatic cancer, he makes the bold decision of forfeiting the last few moments of his life so doctors could preserve his healthy head— and potentially, when technology permits, surgically implant it onto a healthy body.
After five years of outstanding progress in cryopreservation, Travis was able to wake up only half a decade after what should've been his death.
Miracles aside, as one would expect, there are some complications with not existing for five years. 16-year-old Travis Coates is still 16, and his world is drastically different from how he had left it. His parents are divorced. His high school girlfriend is engaged. And his best friend is hiding the fact that he is gay. In this blog post, I will be expressing my views on how Travis processed his new realities.
Kyle is the name of Travis's best friend, and regardless of his claims, he is absolutely gay. Kyle uncomfortably opens himself up to Travis on this issue shortly before Travis's death, yet right when Travis expected the whole world to know, five years later, Kyle has a girlfriend and is hiding from a truth he ought to embrace. Travis works tirelessly to assure Kyle it was safe to come out, and after imaginable reluctance to hear Travis’s words, Kyle showed the world closest to him who he truly was. I felt as if this approach was aggressively persistent, as it truly didn't really contain anything besides pleas and requests of what should be done, but it indefinitely got the job done and played it's even more important role as being a vote of confidence for Travis to face the tasks that required more than just persistence. Overall, helping bring Kyle through denying himself proved essential to constructing the life he should be living.
Love was one of the larger battles Travis was forced to face after his 'resurrection.' After Travis’s success with Kyle, he began feeling the compulsion to turn things back around with his old girlfriend, Cate. She was an incredibly emotional character. At the ‘rebirth’ of Travis she
began crying uncontrollably, but regardless, was deeply committed to her finacé. — Yet it seemed as if even if her fiancé wasn't around, they wouldn't likely have been together. Travis and Cate's romance never truly died, and they weren't scared to show how deeply they cared for each other, but as Cate believed she better understood the complexities of romantic relationship, she was certain the age gap would prove fatal to their love. At first thought, love is love, and if friendship sees no age boundaries, why should this? But furthering a more rational mindset, when experiencing love, it's likely best for the couple if both halves are experiencing the same sort of things at the same time, rather one person being significantly more developed than the other. After all, it's rare we see best friends that are too far different in age. Love is extremely selective, and although it seems harsh, the age limit is reasonable as it permits the most relatable experiences, and thus the closest bonds. As resolution, Travis plainly accepts the fact that some things just won't be able to carry on into his second life. Moreover, romantic relationships do hold some need for equal maturity in order to best function.
One of the most jarring discoveries of Travis's return was the hidden truth of his parents' divorce. Despite them both pretending to be together for the sake of Travis's recovery, they had parted for it was nearly impossible to experience the simultaneous effects of grief that Travis's "death" had left for them. Travis took this rather harshly, believing he was to blame for his parent's lost love, and while that is in some sense true, it was never in his control and taking blame for such a thing is unethical. As far as actual grief over the fact his parents were divorced, that was entirely understandable and staying strong would only prove to not responding to his feelings and letting them sit inside longer than they should.
Even if you haven't yet enjoyed this novel, feel free to comment on your takes of the different situations or how you would have handled them —