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.