The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold
Publisher: Viking Children’s (May 22, 2018)
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.
Then Noah → gets hypnotized.
Now Noah → sees changes—inexplicable scars, odd behaviors, rewritten histories—in all those around him. All except his Strange Fascinations…
I’d like to thank Penguin Random House USA International for inviting me to participate in this global blog tour and for sending me an ARC of The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik in exchange for a review.
Before reading The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, I had only heard about David Arnold because he wrote Mosquitoland a few years ago and apparently it was a big hit. However, I was never intrigued enough by the premise of it to pick it up. Fast forward a few years, I got the chance to participate in the global blog tour for David Arnold’s latest book, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik hosted by Penguin Random House USA International.
As the premise of The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik intrigued me—hence, I decided to pick it up and participate in the blog tour—I went into it with hopes that I would enjoy the book. Granted, it was unlike anything I’ve read before, though if I had to draw a comparison, David Arnold’s latest book reads similar to one John Green would write. Not that I had a problem with it, but some issues did arise for me while I was reading the story of Noah Oakman.
Noah Oakman seems to be very much your run-of-the-mill, overly precocious YA hero who has his best friends and pretty cool life and then something happens, which makes him think twice about whatever happened on that fateful night where everything changed. As I had mentioned, the premise did draw me in, because I was strangely very intrigued to find out what these strange fascinations of Noah were but I just felt like the book had a lot of questions and not a lot of answers.
To those who enjoy John Green for his unique, quirky writing style and his zany characters who are a bit too precocious—let’s be honest here, I doubt many teens at the age of 16 today, would even know who Vonnegut is—would find themselves enjoying David Arnold’s latest offering. Though I must commend David Arnold for the dark humour and unique way of storytelling, I wasn’t 100% completely sold on the plausibility of the characters being so articulate and too mature for their age. Honestly, I am trying really hard not to exhaustively reuse the word “quirky” in this review but it seems impossible.
However, I do have to agree that Noah’s a smart character but at times, read: most of the time, he was kind of a try-hard and it wasn’t cute. I don’t want to say it, but here it is.
P R E T E N T I O U S.
I am sorry. I really am.
I am very sorry to say that I am not a fan of this “brand” of books. It was certainly a very ambitious book, but instead of taking the time to explain the whole fiasco, I felt like it was a copout in the end which left me really unsatisfied with the ending. Did I like it? Not really, but I did find some parts amusing and I appreciate that there were quite a number of interesting facts sprinkled throughout the book.
So, what if I didn’t enjoy The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik? Yes, it was undeniably weird but sadly, it was hardly fascinating. From the lack of plot to the filler chapters to the deeply unsatisfying ending, it was really difficult to like the story of a teen who has an obsession with David Bowie. It was a definite, serious case of “it’s not you, it’s me”, for reals. If you’re looking for something along the lines of John Green, look no further.