#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, October 17 Edition

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold, narrated by Michael Crouch
Audio published by Books on Tape, Listening Library
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
ISBN: 978-0525625698

Noah’s about to start his senior year of high school, and he’s got his whole life figured out; except it isn’t the life that Noah wants anymore. He is a star swimmer, but he doesn’t want to swim in college, so he is faking an injury to get out of swimming this season. Then, one night at a party he tells a near-stranger that his life feels like a sweater that no longer fits. Noah goes home drunk after that same stranger attempts to hypnotize him. Then, Noah’s life changes – his friends now want to go to different colleges, his mom has a scar that he’s never noticed, everything is just slightly off. The only things that haven’t changed are his strange fascinations – a YouTube video, a photograph, and an old man with a goiter. Noah ends up on an emotional, and physical, journey to find out why his fascinations have stayed the same when nothing else has.

Michael Crouch does an excellent job narrating in an authentic teen-sounding book. Throughout the book Noah often interacts with others via text message, email, web comments, and all of these formats are narrated with coherency and interest. Emotions that Noah is feeling are clear through the narration without being overwrought creating authenticity and engagement throughout the book.

Hand this book to fans of what-if, sliding door stories. Readers who enjoyed We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson should enjoy The Strange Fascinations of Noah the Hypnotik, as well. David Arnold’s writing and characters are written authentically, and should appeal to readers awaiting the next John Green novel. For all the fans of books who have confusing pieces that don’t all fit until the end like E. Lockhart’s We were Liars try out The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik.

–Cyndi Hamann