Welcome to the Wonderful World of Hypnotism
Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But a sinister stranger is watching her every move and he'll do anything to steal her hypnotic secret...
This is another book I got from the last Friends of the Library book sale. The cover caught my eye– it’s very mesmerizing and shiny, and I knew that any book with an awesome cover like that would be equally as awesome. And I was right! (Seriously, the cover is much better in real life. SHINY.)
Molly Moon is an orphan living at a horrible orphanage, and her life sucks big time. She’s always getting into trouble, her best friend hates her, and she’s basically a nobody. But then one day at the library she finds a book. A wonderful book. A book that is sure to change her life: HYPNOTISM: An Ancient Art Explained. It turns out Molly is a natural at hypnotism, and she straight away sets on changing her life for the better. She hypnotizes the nasty adults running the orphanage, the nasty kids bullying all the other kids, and then she hypnotizes her way to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who wants to change their life: Professor Nockman wants that book, and he’s willing to do very bad things to get it…
There’s lots of interesting themes in here, and it’s pretty deep for a kid’s book (not that kids’ books can’t be deep). One of the more obvious ones are Molly’s love for advertisements and the items they promote. Molly truly believes that if she can only become like the people in a soda ad, she can be happy and successful. And to be like the people in the ad? She’s gotta drink that soda, of course! Luckily she snaps out of it later on, realizing that ads are just another form of hypnotism and that while the people in them might seem special, really they’re just regular people. Regular people with really white teeth.
There’s also themes about friendship, and accepting oneself for who one is, and not letting the bad guys get away with their evil deeds, and that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate because it makes them sick. Alright, that last one isn’t an actual theme, per se, but it is important to know so you don’t accidentally poison your dog, right? Right!
My favorite thing about this book, though, isn’t the themes and lessons and whatnot: it’s the absurd humor and small witticisms sprinkled throughout. It all really reminded me of a Roald Dahl book, except updated and less dark. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
[…] Children whispered as Miss Adderstone swept past, her false-teeth necklace swinging with every step. This morning she had a huge pair of knickers on her head. She was wearing her polyester suit, except that it had been snipped all over and was full of cuts and slashes. It looked like the mad creation of some crazy fashion designer.
“I like your suit,” said Molly.
“Oh, thank you, thank you, Molly. I did it myself last night with a pair of scissors.”
I thought this was a really good first book (for the author and for the series), and though there was one part in particular I actually hated, it was so awkward and not very well done– I’m trying not to spoil anyone so I’m sorry I have to be so vague; if you’d like details just let me know and I’ll email you– and the ending was incredibly smoopy, nearly gag-worthy actually, but the rest was as fun and quirky as Molly was. There’s three more books in the series, and while they’re not at the top of my TBR list I do want to find out what happens to the characters. Especially Nockman, that slimy git.
Recommended for: Roald Dahl fans, people who like orphans triumphing over mean adults, dog owners.