Book Review: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold

Title: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
Author: David Arnold
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Viking Books
Published: May 22nd, 2018
Page Count:  432 pages
Format:  ARC
Source: From PRH International in exchange of my honest opinion

The New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite and Mosquitoland brings a speculative twist to his latest novel. The result: an incisive and deeply humane story with the feel of Haruki Murakami for teens.

     Noah Oakman is lost. He's had the same best friends since fifth grade and the same parents since forever. And even though he has changed, he feels everyone around him has stayed the same. When his friends drag him to an end of summer party, Noah meets a kid named Circuit, in whom he senses a kindred disillusionment. Circuit is an amateur hypnotist. Curious (and kind of drunk), Noah allows Circuit to hypnotize him. But when he leaves, everything is a slightly different. Noah swears his friend Alan had a massive collection of Marvel comics, but Alan says he's always been into DC, its competitor. His friend Val definitely gained internet fame through her posts about movies, but now her entire feed is about music. His mother suddenly has a scar on her face; when asked how she got it, she doesn't respond. Only four seemingly disparate things remain unchanged in his life. So Noah sets out to discover what these Strange Fascinations have in common, hoping to figure out what happened to him and how he can get back to before.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars
.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is just what its title promises--strange and fascinating! It's the kind of gripping read that instantly makes you want to keep reading non-stop and wishing you could somehow become friends with all of the amazing characters.

I must confess that thinking back to Noah Hypnotik makes me strangely emotional. It felt relatable even though my mind's inner workings are nowhere near as smart as Noah's. He is funny and weird and interesting. Honestly, reading this book is how I think it would be if I somehow could read/hear a boy's mind. Perhaps that is it though. This book transported me into the mind of a boy who spent so much time obsessing over "strange fascinations" that always related to loneliness, and all his feelings and doubts I felt 100% in my own heart.

However, this book is not what I would call sad. It is an all-around fun and whimsical adventure that shines throught the wonderful relationships Noah has and builds. I loved how he is best friends with two amazing twins, Val and Alan, and that they refer themselves as a "delicate triangle". I particularly enjoyed whenever Noah and Alan were together since their interactions and love for each other is truly pure. Cannot forget to mention how much I adored Penny! Such a sassy and bright character, could genuinely spend days in her company and never get bored.

There's so much to this book and even after finishing and having time to process, I still cannot find words to convey all the amazing details found within its pages. It has drawings! Constant mention of Gilmore Girls and Breakfast at Tiffany's! David Bowie! It is seriously packed with so many fun references that made me smile the entire time (except, you know, when it got deeply emotional).

Final Verdict:

This is my first book by David Arnold but it certainly won't be my last! Captivating, amazingly weird and unputdownable, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is the book you have to read in the near future, if not now. You won't regret it!

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