A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green, similar to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, is up there with the strangest books I’ve read, and the smartest. After the way the first book in the duology ended, I was unsure how this sequel would unfold, but I found myself gripped by the new challenges the characters face in a world of confusion. Compared to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, this one is heavier on the sci-fi elements and introduces a variety of narrators, but it contains the same humour and hard-hitting social commentary that one would expect from Hank Green’s work. Immensely entertaining and thought-provoking, this is a powerful series that will linger with the reader long after they turn the last page.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank GreenTitle: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
Series: The Carls #2
Author: Hank Green
Also by this author: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Publisher: Dutton
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: four-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

April May and the Carls are back in the much-anticipated sequel to Hank Green's #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that’s not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl’s path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.

Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension.

As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages; and more—which seem to suggest April may be very much alive. In the midst of the gang's possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the bold and brilliant follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It’s a fast-paced adventure that is also a biting social commentary, asking hard, urgent questions. How will we live online? What powers over our lives are we giving away for free? Who has the right to change the world forever? And how do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?

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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

Following the events of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, this book takes place in a post-Carl world and explores the ways in which these otherworldly apparitions have changed life as we know it. The Carls and the mystery that surrounded them were a major part of so many people’s identities, and without them, the world has entered a state of confusion. As the main characters uncover a new, threatening scientific operation and even more strange happenings, they must reunite and work together to stop a major tech company from gaining a dangerous amount of power.

❀ Multiple Narrators

Where the first book in this duology was told through April May’s perspective alone, this instalment introduces multiple narrators. As we’re invited into Andy, Maya, and Miranda’s thoughts, we get a complete picture of how each character is working to take down the tech company in different ways. Each character is so complex and still growing after the events of the first book, and I enjoyed reading about the different ways they handle grief and adapt to their new lives.

❀ Intelligent and Accessible

One of my favourite things about Hank Green’s writing is how intelligent yet accessible it is. At first glance, this series may seem daunting as it tackles themes such as the impact of the power that major corporations hold, what it means to be human, and who is allowed to change the world. I found that this one balances the sci-fi elements and the excitement of the plot with this sharp social critique effectively, and these themes never feel pretentious or overly preachy. I will say that this book is more overt in its social critique than the first one, but it is still digestible and entertaining.

❀ A Thought-Provoking Read

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green is the thought-provoking follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. I loved the direction the author takes with this sequel by introducing a powerful new tech company in a world that is recovering from the disappearance of the Carls, and the multiple narrators bring even more depth to the plot. Just like the first book, this one tackles some complex questions in a readable way, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and fast-paced read that doubles as a social commentary.

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.

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