I do not know where to start with this book. When I got invited to take part in the international blog tour for it, I could not help but say yes. Because that cover is all kinds of stunning and I found the summary to be interesting too, even though I do not read a lot of contemporary books. But I wanted to give it a chance. As I have loved a few books from this genre. And so I had hopes for this book. It is breaking my heart a little to say that all those hopes were crushed. As I did not like this one much at all. For so many reasons.
Honestly do not know how to put my thoughts about this book into words. It is a two star read for me. So wish I could say that I loved it, but I very much did not. But I also did not hate it, and I'm happy about that. But oh, I have so many thoughts about this book. Shall try my best to share most of them, without sharing spoilers and still writing down all of my feelings. This book tells the story of Noah and his life. It has some surprises, and some friendships. But mostly it was all kinds of boring and just about nothing happened.
Will begin with my thoughts about the writing. In some ways, the writing was great. But I did not like it one bit. Because of the way Noah was thinking and acting. I did not like it at all. It was a bit annoying and hard to read. Though the book did not take that very long to finish. But it was all a bit too much, I think. Noah is sixteen years old. He is different from just about everyone, of course. He does not drink, he is a virgin by choice, he reads lots of history and things like that, and knows so much. Just. Ugh. A bit too much for me.
I wish I could say that I loved Noah. But I did not. I didn't even like him. But I did enjoy learning his story. I just did not like any parts of it, haha. I felt like he was written to be too much different. And to me, that did not work well. His family was kind of interesting. I liked his little sister, Penny. And their dog. His parents were mostly okay. They were just boring, honestly. Noah is amazing at swimming, and could get a good college. But he does not want to swim. And so he is faking a back injury. Yeah. That was not really okay.
And his whole life is kind of going down hill. He did not seem happy. Despite having two amazing best friends. I loved Alan and Val so much. Well, most of the time. They were such great friends, and I wish there had been more of them. Hmph. Anyway. The plot. First we get to know Noah, then there is a party where he gets really drunk. And follows a strange boy home. Where he gets hypnotized. And when he wakes up the next morning, things are different. His mom has a scar. And other things have changed too.
Just about all of this book is about that. Noah and his life. How things changed after he got hypnotized by this strange boy. How he is trying to deal with it, with so much being wrong, and he being the only one to know that. Then there was his Strange Fascinations too. He is obsessed with four things currently. They take a big part of this book too. Not going to describe any of it, just that it was kind of interesting. I liked reading about the old guy and his life. But oh, so very little happened in this book. Most of it was boring.
And I have already written way too much in my review. Without really sharing what happens at all. Ugh. Because there really was not much going on in this book. I tried to like it. But I did not like Noah. Did not like his way of thinking, his way of living. The plot lasted forever, and nothing happened. I wanted more exciting moments. There isn't even romance. And that was so disappointing too. Felt like it could have at least been a little better if there had been some romance. Hmph. Just, yeah. This book fell short for me.
Then there was this ending. I liked the last fifty pages of this book more than all the other pages. The ending was pretty great. I must admit to having been spoiled about what happened, but I shall not spoil anyone else. It was still shocking and different and I liked it a lot. I thought this would change my rating from two stars to three stars. But then the rest of the ending happened. And I was not pleased with it at all. I wanted someone to get punished. That did not happen. I wanted more, simply put. I'm disappointed.
And so I am giving The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik two stars. This was not a book for me at all. But it was also not the most awful book I have read. Because I was curious from start to finish. I did want to know what would happen next. I just did not like any of it, haha. And I think a whole lot of people might love this one. I'm curious to know what you all think of it. Huge thank you to PRH International for sending me a free copy of this book to read and review for the blog tour. Wish I could have loved it more.
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend.
Then Noah → gets hypnotized.
Now Noah → sees changes: his mother has a scar on her face that wasn’t there before; his old dog, who once walked with a limp, is suddenly lithe; his best friend, a lifelong DC Comics disciple, now rotates in the Marvel universe. Subtle behaviors, bits of history, plans for the future—everything in Noah’s world has been rewritten. Everything except his Strange Fascinations . . .
A stunning surrealist portrait, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is a story about all the ways we hurt our friends without knowing it, and all the ways they stick around to save us.
The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik is published by Viking Books for Young Children.
International ISBN: 9780451480477.
Buy The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik: Amazon - B&N - The Book Depository - Indiebound - Kobo Norwegian places to buy the book: Tanum - Akademia - Adlibris
David Arnold lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his (lovely) wife and (boisterous) son. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Kids of Appetite, Mosquitoland, & The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik, which has been optioned for film by Paramount. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Learn more at davidarnoldbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.