Friday, June 1, 2018

Blog Tour: The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik - David Arnold

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
David Arnold
Series: n/a
Genre/Age: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Viking
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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 . . .

Things in Noah's life appeared to be going according to plan. The problem was, they were not his plans. He was 16-years old, and not sure what he really wanted. He, in fact, seemed to be having a sort of existential-crisis. His solution? He got really drunk, and spent time with a rather strange stranger, who appeared to have done something to him, because the following day, Noah's life had been altered in small ways with big affects.

I fell in love with Arnold's storytelling via Kids of Appetite, returned for more of his genius with Mosquitoland, and am now firmly a devotee of David Arnold after finishing the quirky and thought provoking masterpiece, The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik.

I found Noah to be quite a fascinating protagonist. His level of intelligence coupled with his heightened self-awareness yielded so many stimulating inner monologues and conversations. I truly loved being in his head and in his world.

Noah was grappling with a lot of things, which I think many teens (and adults) could relate to. He felt stuck on this path, which he did not choose, and he was afraid to be honest about what he did and didn't want. His fear of change and the future was some common ground between Noah and myself, and I thought his feelings and reactions were very realistic.

One of the things Noah feared was the relationship between him, Alan, and his twin sister, Val, changing. They called themselves "the fragile triangle", and they shared a really special friendship. I liked Val a lot, but the right angle of that triangle was the bromance between Alan and Noah. Their bond was so lovely and strong, and I adored how they could be so open and emotional with each other.

I am all for the present and awesome YA families we are seeing more and more of these days, and Noah's family joins this list. They shared meals together and family movie nights, and they also talked to one another. His parents were loving and openly affectionate. His sister was a little firecracker, who won a piece of my heart, and it was special seeing the bond between those two grow and gain strength.

But you want to know what I really adored? Noah wrote these concise histories. He would take all these seemingly unrelated things, and find a thread between them. The first two totally had me WTFing. They were phenomenal, and had me looking forward to more of them.

And then there were the strange fascinations. I never really thought of things I am fascinated, borderline obsessed with, but I will admit, that Noah has me thinking about them. I thought Arnold deftly wove these fascinations into the story, and I appreciated how they tied into his fears of change and loneliness versus being alone.

Overall: David Arnold is 3 for 3 for me! This was another wonderful addition to his body of work, which lived up to its title, and was wholly fascinating.

I bow down to all you mood board people, because this was hard. There were so many interesting things in which were part of Noah's strange fascinations, but it was impossible to include them all.

• Bowie Polaroid banner from Kevin Profitt
Old man painting by James Coates
• Bowie illustration by David Mack

* ARC received in exchange for an honest review.



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 and follow him on Twitter @roofbeam and Instagram @iamdavidarnold.



Do you have any strange fascinations?
Let us know in the comments!


  1. It's great that you were able to get into the blog tour for this one! I've already read so many positive things about it (plus...THE PREMISE! I love the premise!), and your review was a great addition to them. I'm sold!

    1. I was thrilled to be part of this tour, because I love Arnold's books so much. He is definitely on a list of authors, whose work is throughly interesting and thought provoking.

  2. I keep hearing things about this one. I’m intrigued.

    1. Arnold writes such interesting characters and trippy stories. I am so into his work.

  3. I havent tried this author, now you have convinced me to read this. I want to meet Noah, his family and friends and discover his weird history obsession.

    1. There is just something about Arnold's storytelling that keeps me coming back for me. He's a little John Green, but also a little something else, wholly his own, but always so intriguing.

  4. That cover is so trippy! I haven't read anything by this author, but now I'm interested! I love that it seems to focus on family and those relationships.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

    1. The cover is a great illustration of how it was in Noah's head during his little crisis.

  5. First, epic cover that makes me think I should be under a disco ball lol But an even more interesting blurb. YOu've made me so curious about Noah!

    1. When I saw the cover, it screamed 80s to me, but I can see the hypnosis thing coming through too.

  6. I loved Kids of Appetite and own Mosquitoland (need to get to it!) but am excited for this one. I like his writing a lot and this sounds really good. Great review!

    1. KOA was my first Arnold book, but I have been really pleased with all three of his books.

  7. It sounds like Noah's mind is really a spectacular kind of place to be. I think it would be so cool to see how he strings his thoughts, histories and theories together like you mentioned in the review and now you've made me want to read it! I'm all for families in YA too ;) Another plus :D

    1. Spectacular, yes, but also complicated. He had a lot going on inside there, which he kept to himself.