Genre: Young Adult
Edition: Paperback, ARC
Length: 340 pgs.
Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.
Now he’s alive again.
Simple as that.
The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.
Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.
Oh well, you only live twice.
I am sort of confused about how I feel about this book so here’s just a bunch of scattered thoughts—
I don’t know why I thought this book was different that what it was really all about—perhaps I read the synopsis wrong?—but I was expecting something not so emotional. And boy, is our protagonist friend, Travis, emotional!
Travis Coates is on the verge of death. So his doctors present him with a last option as he dies: to have his heat cut off and cryogenically frozen so someday, he can be put back together and have the possibility of coming back alive again. Him and his parents take a chance…but no one really expected him to come back, after five years. When Travis wakes up again, the world has moved forward and he’s barely blinked since he last saw his parents. His best friend is long gone and his girlfriend’s engaged to someone else. Is he really still the Travis that once was or is he the man from the past stuck in a future that doesn’t belong to him anymore?
Travis seemed like an OK kind of guy at the beginning of the novel. I felt incredibly sorry for the fact that he struggles with catching up with the world since he’s gone. Everything’s changed in five years but his brain hasn’t been alive in that time so to him, it’s just like he took a nap and woke up to a strange world where nothing fits with him. But my sympathies for him eventually wore out when he started going a little bit crazy with his plans to get back his old life. His best friend, Kyle, is in college and his girlfriend, Cate, is engaged to someone else while he’s stuck going back to attending high school. I can understand why he feels like he’s been betrayed but honestly, his actions half way into the book just seem completely ridiculous.
For the most part, I did not have too many issues with the writing of the book but I really wish it hadn’t been so focused on Cate’s relationship with Travis. His parents and Kyle get a fair part in the book but I definitely wish there would’ve been more of them to influence Travis for the better. Cate is the character Travis hangs on to from the moment he wakes up and until she finally makes him face the truth; he is stuck in the same moment through the novel and that was really depressing. I was really hopeful throughout the book that his friends or his parents would help him figure things out more. Just when I began to think he would move past talking about Cate, he would do something even nuttier than before and I ended up feeling embarrassed on his behalf multiple times in the book. By the end, I didn’t know whether I felt bad for him, pitied him, or completely disliked him.
As for the story in this book. Well, like I mentioned, I expected a humor book and this was kind of over-the-top emotional at times because of Travis’ ridiculous antics so I didn’t really enjoy it that much. It also deals with his cancer issues before his head gets chopped off and later when he wakes up, we see flashbacks of those days and although that was sweet, I really didn’t understand the use of them other than the author emphasizing how important Cate really was in Travis’ life.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but because it was something different than I expected, it did not live up to my expectations though I am still more than happy to have had the chance to read it. I wanted to try Where Things Come Back by the same author and since I never got to reading that one, I was happy to read this book of his.
P. S. What I thought was really interesting about this book was that the author starts each chapter by using the last 2 or 3 words from the last sentence of the last chapter. I’ve never seen this before, it was a really wonderful experiment!