Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank GreenTitle: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author: Hank Green
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: September 25, 2018

five-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green--cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow--spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger, than anyone could have possibly imagined.

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship--like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor--April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world--everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires--and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including how the social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye.

Amazon | Book Depository

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review

I had been dying to read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green since I first heard that it was in the works, and while I had incredibly high hopes for it, it is safe to say that I was not disappointed. This book is so complex, discussing topics such as fame and unity as the world is divided by the appearance of robots, but it is so much more than that. I enjoyed the realistic main character and the clever writing style. This has got to be the wildest book of 2018, and I must say, it is absolutely remarkable.

When I try to explain An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, it doesn’t sound nearly as incredible as it actually is, but trust me,  this has got to be among my favourite reads of the year. Basically, these kind-of-robots—Carls—appear around the world, and April May is the first one to capture it on video. Overnight, she becomes an internet sensation and must deal with the repercussions of international recognition and try to figure out why the Carls appeared. The book has a great message about togetherness and the impacts of fame. This book is listed as young adult, but I personally think that adults would enjoy it as well.

April is such a loveable main character despite her flaws, and I was rooting for her as she tries to put all the pieces together. She is so sassy, and her voice is a combination of an educated woman and a sarcastic teenager at times. April is also such a realistic main character, and her habit of making rash decisions makes her more relatable. While she makes many mistakes throughout the book and lets the fame go to her head, she learns from them and transforms.

I knew before I even picked this book up that there would be some pretty amazing writing inside. I’ve seen many of Hank’s Crash Course videos, so I had a feeling that this one would be pretty scientific as well. What I enjoyed about the book is the fact that the writing style is both conversational and theoretical. The puzzles are also cleverly designed, and it was easy to believe that robots had appeared on Earth. It is rare that I finish a book in just one sitting, but this one was truly unputdownable.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is an original story of fame and unity, and it contains a sarcastic main character. I enjoyed the writing style that is both casual and thought-provoking. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, regardless of age.

About Hank Green

Image of Hank Green

Hank Green started making YouTube videos in 2007 with his brother, John. They thought it was a dumb idea, but it turned out well. He is now the CEO of Complexly, which produces SciShow, Crash Course and nearly a dozen other educational YouTube channels, prompting The Washington Post to name him "one of America's most popular science teachers." Green co-founded a number of other businesses, including DFTBA.com, which helps online creators make money by selling cool stuff to their communities; and VidCon, the world's largest conference for the online video community. Hank and John, also started the Project for Awesome, which raised more than two million dollars for charities last year. He has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, Scientific American, and Mental Floss Magazine prior to his first published novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, due out on Sept 25, 2018.

19 thoughts on “Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

  1. Jaime Lynn says:

    I needed to hear that it is better than is sounds. While it sounds good, I can’y say that I was chomping at the bit to read it. Now I am much more curious, after reading your review.

  2. Phantom Paper says:

    You had me at robots. For me, if your review simply said, ‘This is a great book with robots in it’ and I’d have signed up! I love sarcastic and capable characters, I read one in The Spaceship Next Door and also in The Robots of Gotham.

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