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 . . .
Where do I even begin with this review?? Noah Hypnotik is unlike any book I’ve read, and was much different than I thought it would be going in, and I mean all of that in the best way possible. Noah is a wonderful main character; he’s funny, a bit quirky, and prone to self-exploration. There were several chapters and scenes that I dog-eared (yes, I dog-ear books while reading, fight me!) because they were so relatable and I knew I would want to go back to them again.
I also adored Noah’s relationship with his younger sister, Penny, who honestly deserves her own book because she was just too spunky and precious! In fact, the relationships in general were great throughout this book—I enjoyed Noah’s bromance with his best friend, Allan, as well as his close-but-tough relationship with his parents. The characters were diverse and fleshed out, and I was fully invested in their lives by the end!
Speaking of the end, I admittedly became a little skeptical when I realized where the story was heading. I can’t talk about it too much without venturing into spoiler territory, but my skepticism was put to ease because David Arnold managed to conclude the story in a way that was still meaningful and not at all like the “gotcha” I was worried about.
Honestly, I don’t have anything bad to say about this book. I guess there were moments when I spaced out a little, because Noah would be talking about history or music I knew nothing about in his “concise histories of me,” and I wouldn’t always get the full connection to the story. But his concise histories were still really cool, and it may just take a reread for me to appreciate all of the details Arnold managed to research and concoct to create such a great character.
Noah Hypnotik was such a unique and quirky book, it’s difficult to pin it down and explain all the ways I love it. But it’s easily one of my favorite books of 2018—and probably ever—and makes me want to read more from Arnold. I also feel like there are books you read at the exact right time in life, and this was one of those moments for me. I found Noah’s exploration of his restlessness in life, loneliness, relationships and future very relatable, and I think most people could benefit from reading this book!
Publisher: Viking Children’s (Penguin Random House)
Publication Date: May 22, 2018