*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Title: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
Author: David Arnold
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 . . .
This book was really intriguing! It’s unlike many YA novels that I’ve read. Think Bowie meets Vonnegut meets coming-of-age fiction and you get this glorious creation. Noah is a adrift in his world, uncertain of what he actually wants to do with his life as he stands on the precipice of graduation, but very certain of the plans that everyone else has for him. He’s in a bit of a slump–nothing too crazy, but big decisions are looming over him and grow closer every day. The thought of change and distance from everything and everyone he’s ever known have got him preemptively distancing himself from his friends and family a bit as he tries to gain some sort of understanding of his own goals. Then, Noah accidentally ends up in a situation he never expected. He gets hypnotized and when he wakes up, his whole world shifts on it’s axis. Nothing is as it was before, except for Noah himself. He begins to see his world in a new light.
Noah as a character is brilliant. He’s quirky and a bit of a lone wolf with just a few very close friends. He loves Bowie, dreads change, and is afraid of striking out on his own path. I think there are many teens out there who might relate to him quite well. I thought he was magnificently entertaining. He has multiples of the exact same outfit that he wears every day, he’s obsessed with this obscure author who writes these Vonnegut-esque stories, and he’s got this amazing dog who no longer knows how to bark. His friendships with Val and Alan are incredibly charming and light-hearted, but his friends don’t shy away in the slightest from addressing tough topics. Their story explores family, friendship, sexuality, love, self-discovery, acceptance, the future, and so much more.
Overall, I adored how light-hearted and heart-warming this story was in the end. This story will have you questioning what is the truth and how this world that Arnold creates actually functions. The characters will suck you right in and hopefully, you’ll enjoy this story as much as I did.