Parents' Guide to

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Angsty, quirky teen's compelling search for meaning.

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David Arnold's strong writing elevates a story about a bleak, angst-filled teen into something much bigger, and much more compelling, than you'd expect. The quirky, relatable, often funny trio of friends in The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik draw the reader into their friendship's ups and downs. At the same time, Arnold deftly weaves together elements of existentialism, speculative fiction, and surrealism into a dense fabric that sways to David Bowie's many beats. It's dense, and it'll best be enjoyed by teens who love reading and writing, thinking deeply, and wondering what it all means.

Some readers may be frustrated by the storytelling cliché that masquerades as the "twist" near the end. But by then they'll likely be invested enough in the compelling characters, and hopefully appreciative of the otherwise strong writing by a very talented author, to hang in there with Noah all the way to the satisfying end.

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