The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold (5 out of 5)

Oh boy, did I love this! I mean, I REALLY loved this book. And yes, it is out now; just released yesterday from our good friends at Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House. I have a galley that I received from the publisher. I am not ashamed to admit that I have underlined the heck out of this advance and I have thoughts written in many margins. And I laughed. A lot. It also made me ruminate on many friendships I had, present and past. If you think the name David Arnold rings a bell, it should. He wrote one of last year’s most widely acclaimed young adult books, Mosquitoland. I hope this title finds equal acclaim. If your teen likes whimsical and fun books with a lot of heart, this is a good place to start.

Noah is a teen boy, Bowie fan, procrastinator who has to pick a college to go to, ambling through life with his best friends Val and Alan. He goes and gets himself hypnotized, and he sees changes (I aim to believe that Arnold fully intended Bowie song titles throughout) all around him. And he’s not quite sure how to explain it or handle it. His angst over where to go to college, along with the fact that his two best friends are going away to college in LA, manifests in funny and completely relatable ways. Along the way, Noah is positive that the hypnotizing has led to all sorts of unpredictability with his actions, not limited to but definitely including his agreement to watch “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with his sister Penelope. And his obsession with a YouTube blogger (The Fading Girl). Noah didn’t sign up for any of this! Everything around him, including his Concise Histories, has turned upside down. How to navigate this? Noah is your typical teenage boy…or is he? Ultimately, this leads to his strange fascinations (Yes, I DID hear The Cure in my head every time Noah mentions it) coming to a head, and he has to make some very grownup decisions. Will his friendships, family relationships, and even his life go back to the way they were? Will Noah?

I am telling you…get out of your summer reading slump and pick up this book! I am delighted with it, and hope some of the store’s lingering teen crowd will give it a shot. You absolutely should!

~ by generationgbooks on June 1, 2018.

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