Author: Hank Green
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
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.
❃ 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. ❃
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.