An Absolutely Split Mind on this One

an absolutely remarkable thing

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

By: Hank Green

Grade: B -ish

So how about another Green brother?

Hank Green’s first book is about a twenty-something woman called April May who stumbles over a new “sculpture” in New York that she dubs Carl, uploads a video and becomes the center of this great, vast and mysterious world-wide phenomenon. What are the Carls? How did they get where they are? Who put them there?

Are they alien? And if they are is this an invasion?

It’s an interesting idea helped along by a heaping amount of Internet fame today being everything. (Seriously one of the accidentally amusing parts about April May had to be the asinine tweets that made her famous.) I found her to be an unlikable but somehow still relatable character.

It’s just hard to enjoy someone who puts fame before everything, admits that she wants to be special but unfortunately due to the narrative she might very well be the most specialist cupcake in the universe. Still at least as a narrator she does have self-awareness that she’s a mess and her message of hope- even if it was slightly cynically played- is a good one.

So April May is grating at best. She may get on some nerves. And while I rolled my eyes at some of her decision making skills and what influenced them they were in character.

This book honestly has a lot in common with the John Green books that I’ve read though this Green keeps his character slightly older. So if one gets on your nerves you may want to keep that in mind. In fact that was another slight knock that I couldn’t stop comparing the two.

I’ve been of two minds about this book- I actually went down star on Goodreads though I still overall liked it and think it’s a strong debut.

I also realized this book is the first in a series. Which yes, it’s seriously open-ended and we don’t get a lot of answers but in this case it bugged me more after I saw it was a series. Like if you want to know what happened and what’s going on you’re going to have to (hopefully) read the second book and that being said I’m just not sure I want to.

Recommend: 50/50. Oddly enough if this was a standalone I would have said go for it if you’re a fan of the Green brothers or the subject material. After finding out its part of a series now I lean toward wait to see where it goes.

20 thoughts on “An Absolutely Split Mind on this One

  1. I haven’t read either Green yet. I’ve heard good and not so good things about John Green and I’ve seen this one around a few places. Not sure it’s my thing either especially if there’s a lot of loose ends waiting for a sequel. Good to know though.

    1. I admit I usually fall to the good on John Green. I actually liked this more when I thought it was a stand alone despite the loose ends you know, oh, just this weird thing that happened once upon a time and it can be whatever you want. It being a series definitely changed that for me!

  2. Well, to me, this just sounds weird. I usually like weird tho. Haven’t read it yet, but i’m already too minds about this. Haha 😀
    The theme of being internet famous is interesting.

  3. I also would have preferred a standalone, even ending as it did. I didn’t realize it was a series until I saw a couple of other bloggers mentioning it. *shrug*

    For me, April May wasn’t grating so much as she was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. But it’s been a while since I’ve really enjoyed reading an unlikable protagonist, so I loved that aspect of the book. I thought it was so interesting how she was able to separate herself as a person from herself as a personality. It’s not a decision I agreed with, but it made for an interesting plot.

    1. What she said, thought and portrayed about fame and celebrity in our society was very interesting. Good point about her being able to separate herself with some pretty swift ease. I might not have always liked her but I think she was pretty realistic 🙂

  4. Yeah I definitely feel like I would compare the two brother’s writing too. It’s really good to know that it was the first in the series though, cos I had no idea about that- I feel like that would have been a surprise to me too. Great review!

  5. I’m actually intrigued- I am somehow drawn to characters that are both annoying but also somehow relatable. Admittedly that “fame obsession” would get on my nerves… I haven’t read anything by the other brother so perhaps a good opportunity here for me. 😊

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