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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Christine Riccio

    I just finished An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and it was great!! I had so much fun flying through this book. My booktalk will be coming later this week, I'm excited to discuss with yall!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Em (RunawayWithDreamthieves)

    Not to start a family feud but I picked up this book solely because I’ve grown tired with John Green romanticising the white heterosexual nerd’s quest for the perfect woman whom they win by using the longest most pretentious words possible, and I was very curious to read his brother’s work. And what do you know....I actually liked it. Hank Green created a story with great deep undercurrents. Under the surface is a very forward and honest discussion about social media and the uncomfortable commodi Not to start a family feud but I picked up this book solely because I’ve grown tired with John Green romanticising the white heterosexual nerd’s quest for the perfect woman whom they win by using the longest most pretentious words possible, and I was very curious to read his brother’s work. And what do you know....I actually liked it. Hank Green created a story with great deep undercurrents. Under the surface is a very forward and honest discussion about social media and the uncomfortable commodification of the self it perpetuates. It’s a reminder that a person’s online presence is only a fraction of their personhood, and how we all—knowingly or unknowingly—peddle out every profitable aspects of our personalities on the internet for the very attention we would hate to receive in real life. It was a very poignant reality check. The main character—a bisexual 23-year-old woman—is what you would call "very unlikeable" but in the way an unlikeable character who doesn’t soften up or sugarcoats the less than pleasant aspects of their personalities and with whom you can, to your great horror, assimilate would be. Oh, and aliens! Overall, suspend your disbelief for a while, and you might enjoy this book. More in depth review to come! 3,5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    April May is the snarky, relationship wrecking narrator who is unwittingly catapulted into the dizzying heights of international fame upon being the first to discover a randomly named “Carl”. Initially thought to be an art installation, the Carls prove to be considerably more than visually striking. April becomes addicted to being first and staying first within the media both social and otherwise. At first glance this seems like a Young Adult novel and it will excite this audience but there is a April May is the snarky, relationship wrecking narrator who is unwittingly catapulted into the dizzying heights of international fame upon being the first to discover a randomly named “Carl”. Initially thought to be an art installation, the Carls prove to be considerably more than visually striking. April becomes addicted to being first and staying first within the media both social and otherwise. At first glance this seems like a Young Adult novel and it will excite this audience but there is a lot more going on than the plot might lead you to believe which makes it appealing to more mature readers. In addition to fame (its effects and aftermath), we take a look at gender (identification and fluidity), crowd behavior (physical as well as cyber), and the unification of humanity in order to solve a puzzle. This is a fantastical journey that leads one to an unexpected destination.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    Upon Announcement: I CAN'T WAAAAIT! After Reading: So I am giving this four stars for now, even though it is possible it is a 3/3.5-star book. I really loved everything it had to say and the way in which it said it, and I thought it was a highly original and well-written story, but I was confused and unimpressed by the ending. (That being said, given the premise of the book, I would like to point out the irony of this being easily my most-liked review ever.) What I did love about this story was its Upon Announcement: I CAN'T WAAAAIT! After Reading: So I am giving this four stars for now, even though it is possible it is a 3/3.5-star book. I really loved everything it had to say and the way in which it said it, and I thought it was a highly original and well-written story, but I was confused and unimpressed by the ending. (That being said, given the premise of the book, I would like to point out the irony of this being easily my most-liked review ever.) What I did love about this story was its focus on fame and the way sudden celebrity—especially internet celebrity—affects a person. April May becomes more brand and spokeswoman than human for much of this book, and because she's the narrator, looking back on past events with new clarity and self-realization, her downward spiral is very clear and honestly understandable. I could totally understand why she made the decisions she did, why so many people hanging onto her every word would be heady, how she couldn't find it in her to stop. And I liked that, looking back, she knew that it should have been obvious she was being destructive and foolish, but how, in the moment, her choices fit her state of mind. I wish we had seen more of Maya, and more of Maya, Andy, and April all together as friends, but I liked the clearly defined characteristics of each person in the story. I thought these were strong characters, with original views, personalities, and voices, and I liked the way they worked together through the problems of the Carls. And while the message of the book was a blatant one, at times, it's perfect for the time. Not only that fame changes you, not necessarily for the better; not only how even good people can mistake fame as an opportunity to speak for your entire system of beliefs, and, along the way, lose your personhood; but how we're stronger together than apart. This book was very focused on bringing people together across the globe; April realizes time and time again that working through a problem alone never solves it. It's through endless, global collaboration that we make strides—or even a small collaboration between friends who have different ways of thinking. But the ending. WHAT. (view spoiler)[There's no conclusion to this book. After endless Carl puzzles and the world coming together and first contact with aliens, April dies, speaks to Carl for a couple of pages (in which he says she's special without ever saying why), and then the Carls leave and eventually April comes back to life?? Where did she go? Where did the Carls go? Is Hank saying these aliens have the power to resurrect dead people? And HOW, because humans have an entirely different makeup than Carls. Why did it take so long? Why is she back now, and where is the world going from here? It felt like I was waiting for a full finish to this story and what it all means and how the world will cope with the disappearance of the Carls and the re-arrival of living, breathing (?) Carl. And I understand that might be too much for one book. But I at least wanted to know why April was alive, why she was chosen, and where she had been all this time. (hide spoiler)] I could have lived without a full conclusion for the Carls. I needed a conclusion for April. Overall, I love the way this book is laid out. I love how modern it is, and how it's more focused on the big picture and hindsight than characters (even though I am traditionally a huge fan of character-driven stories). I love the originality. I couldn't put it down. I just wanted a few more chapters.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Okay where is my crash course squad?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rochelle

    I hate that people are calling this "young adult". It's not. Stop it with the inane labels that turn people off instead of bringing them in. The main character isn't even in high school OR college for that matter! This is a book for people that like to read quirky, pop-culture-filled, sci-fi-ish books -- those people might be 15 years old (and their parents don't mind them reading the occasional profanity). Maybe it's a late 20s human that also enjoys reading the novels of Ernest Cline, Robin Sl I hate that people are calling this "young adult". It's not. Stop it with the inane labels that turn people off instead of bringing them in. The main character isn't even in high school OR college for that matter! This is a book for people that like to read quirky, pop-culture-filled, sci-fi-ish books -- those people might be 15 years old (and their parents don't mind them reading the occasional profanity). Maybe it's a late 20s human that also enjoys reading the novels of Ernest Cline, Robin Sloan,Mira Grant, and/or Peter Clines. OR maybe they're a thirty-something mom that likes to read fast-moving books about random robot-alien encounters. Or maybe they're a forty-something that picked this one up because they also liked John Green and they thought this was his new book but realized after the fact that it said Hank -- and they won't be disappointed. I'm certain I have more to say, but I needed to get that out there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)

    I knew it! I still listen to Hank and John Green's podcast, and a few episodes ago Hank teased an announcement. Totally nailed it with my guess it was going to be a book! Love both the brothers and the impact they've had on Internet culture. Hank is especially well-spoken and enthusiastic about so many important things, can't wait to see how this translates into a novel. *casually sells soul for an ARC* *(...or at least a release date? C'mon!)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maxwell

    Meh. It had a really cool plot but I hated the writing style. And that ending made it even worse for me. I did not realize this would be part of a series when I picked it up so I was expecting a satisfying ending, and it did not deliver for me. Bummer.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Ramirez

    "Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May..." April May Nope. Ya lost me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ☙ percy ❧

    *kicks down the door of every single person on the planet* Y'ALL, GET A LOAD OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ngl i've always liked hank more than john and i'm so excited i think i'm gonna scream

  11. 5 out of 5

    The Full Bookshelf Reviews

    Since no one has written a pre-book review yet, I guess that I will. Although I will leave out star ratings. (I know people hate that.) John Green is a genius. Hank Green is a genius. Together, the make up the genius that is Vlogbrothers, and CrashCourse World History and Psychology. Although, if you are not, like me, a devoted Nerdfighter, John has been stealing the spotlight for years. 5 novels and a long short story, several more books for the HPA and Project for Awesome. The man who made the Since no one has written a pre-book review yet, I guess that I will. Although I will leave out star ratings. (I know people hate that.) John Green is a genius. Hank Green is a genius. Together, the make up the genius that is Vlogbrothers, and CrashCourse World History and Psychology. Although, if you are not, like me, a devoted Nerdfighter, John has been stealing the spotlight for years. 5 novels and a long short story, several more books for the HPA and Project for Awesome. The man who made the word okay romantic! And then there's Hank... who also wrote several books HPA and PFA but has not yet released anything but some wonderfully nerdy songs on his record label, DFTBA records... Until now! That's right, here comes Hank's debut novel, about a young lady and her robot friend... ...which does not yet have a title. But, never mind that, let's get on to my own creative efforts inspired by the matter, shall we? Warning:Nerdfighter Material Ahead Cause I need Hank Green's novel Like a puppy sized elephant needs water And as I wait for a release date My need grows Oh Accio Book title Incendio The word 'untitled' I hope it lives up to all my hopes Oh Accio A book by Hank Green Oh, Accio A book by Hank Green! And, Hank, I'll see you on my Followed Authors list. DFTBA

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vitor Martins

    eu não sabia muito bem o que esperar desse livro e o que eu encontrei aqui, definitivamente, me surpreendeu muito. eu passei boa parte da leitura com BIRRA da protagonista e dos personagens secundários que me pareciam rasos demais, mas conforme a narrativa foi me dando as peças que eu precisava pra entender a mensagem da minha maneira, fui ficando fascinado pelas ideias malucas de hank green. assim que eu terminei a última página (berrando), chamei rafael para contar pra ele um pouco sobre o liv eu não sabia muito bem o que esperar desse livro e o que eu encontrei aqui, definitivamente, me surpreendeu muito. eu passei boa parte da leitura com BIRRA da protagonista e dos personagens secundários que me pareciam rasos demais, mas conforme a narrativa foi me dando as peças que eu precisava pra entender a mensagem da minha maneira, fui ficando fascinado pelas ideias malucas de hank green. assim que eu terminei a última página (berrando), chamei rafael para contar pra ele um pouco sobre o livro e fiquei quase 5 minutos explicando sem que ele entendesse nada. e eu acho que tentar escrever uma resenha coerente sobre uma coisa absolutamente fantástica teria o mesmo efeito: eu falando coisas e nenhuma delas fazendo sentido. mas, no geral: excelentes pontos de vista sobre fama e anonimato, relações doentias de fã e ídolo, polarizações políticas que geram violência (brasil 2018 hehehehehe), a ~cultura dos likes~ na internet, o senso de comunidade e de pertencimento, a importância do trabalho em equipe e também da carly rae jepsen. um livro maluco e 100% show!!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kales

    This was like a weird mix between READY PLAYER ONE, SIGNS and TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY. I feel like this is going to be one of those books that stays in my head for a while, rolls around a bit in tar, feathers, gum, jelly (see what I did there?) and muddy about until I figure out exactly how I feel about it. So this review might be a little rambley and will probably change. Admittedly, I picked up this book because it was written by Hank Green, John Green's brother and youtuber extraordinaire. That sa This was like a weird mix between READY PLAYER ONE, SIGNS and TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY. I feel like this is going to be one of those books that stays in my head for a while, rolls around a bit in tar, feathers, gum, jelly (see what I did there?) and muddy about until I figure out exactly how I feel about it. So this review might be a little rambley and will probably change. Admittedly, I picked up this book because it was written by Hank Green, John Green's brother and youtuber extraordinaire. That said, I don't know if I would have picked it up by the description or the cover alone. It's a pretty weird book with a pretty out-there premise. I mean, random statues that are obviously aliens -- come on, we know they are going to be aliens -- appear and one girl gets internet famous for filming them. It is weird, but again, it's Hank Green and he can get away with weird. I feel like because of his following (of which I am admittedly a part of) he could have written about damn well anything and it would have sold. That said, it was a well written book. I liked the casual style of the dialog and April's voice. There were moments of true philosophy along with hilarity and modern references. There were tweets, blog posts, texts, video transcripts all included as well. It was a well-told story. I also enjoyed the characters -- except really for April because she was kind of a dick, but there was a self-actualization to her dickness that I appreciated. Like at least she knew she was a dick and admitted to her flaws. Andy and Maya were definitely the other solid characters in this book. Robin was a little flat for me and Miranda just seemed like the nerdy stereotype. But again, Maya did make a good point when she said that they only ever knew April as "April May" so they treated her differently and she also would understandably see them differently. I struggled with the political nature of this book. While I completely understand that when aliens invade there has to be a political element, I didn't like how closely it emulated the polarizing nature of the United States' current political climate. Honestly, I get enough of that in the news right now so I have no interest to read about it. That could just be me, but it's true. I do admire what Hank did in the book and making it realistic but I don't need that kind of realism right now. On that same note, I felt like a good portion of this book was like watching a Vlogbrothers video. Which makes sense, because it's Hank Green, but it was an odd sensation. I felt like a lot of ideals were being pushed through. I also thought a lot of Hank's own experiences with fame and the pressures of his position in the media and with such a substantial following were dumped into the book. Some ways it felt like a weird brain dump from Hank. April was like the female version of Hank...and that's not necessarily bad but I struggled with some of the evangelizing that comes across in some Vlogbrothers videos and especially in this book. I also thought the ending was a cop out. If you're going to kill the main character, just kill her. Don't leave us hanging like she might be alive -- which she is if she's writing this book as a reflection of the previous events...I don't know, just seemed lazy to me. But I will say that I liked that there wasn't a real romance at the center of this book and it explored all sorts of relationships. That was a real strength of the book and I appreciated the balance it brought. It also passed the Bechtel test and the reverse Betchtel test, and that makes me happy. Overall, it wasn't bad. It wasn't stellar either. There were parts I enjoyed and parts I didn't understand and parts I thought should have been cut. That's why it has a three stars. It might move up or down once I wrap my head around it a little more. But got to give it credit for making me think. Conclusion: I haven't made up my mind yet

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hamad

    John and I are not compatible writing wise. But I can't project that on Hank! Please let me like a Green's book :D

  15. 5 out of 5

    Solomon ~ TheBookishKing

    Buddy Read with Fellow Cardan the Furry Enthusiast "Carl is not a possible thing, and yet there he is, guarding the Chipotle, leading people to conclude that he was not created by humans." So ... just like I thought ... Trash. I went in to this with semi high hopes as everyone says that Hank Green is the Better Brother due to the fact that John just keeps putting out Not So Great Books. There was tons of hype around this book that I was gladly not involved in but I read this in favor of a friend Buddy Read with Fellow Cardan the Furry Enthusiast "Carl is not a possible thing, and yet there he is, guarding the Chipotle, leading people to conclude that he was not created by humans." So ... just like I thought ... Trash. I went in to this with semi high hopes as everyone says that Hank Green is the Better Brother due to the fact that John just keeps putting out Not So Great Books. There was tons of hype around this book that I was gladly not involved in but I read this in favor of a friend who adores Hank but wanted thoughts on the book before she bought it. So here I've been for the past two days being extremely conflicted. The beginning to this book was rough, I didn't care for the characters but the story line was kind of interesting and kept me going. Then I started to love the middle a lot and was incredibly interested in everything that was happening! It was crazy hard to put down and I was devouring it ............ then came Chapter 13 - Chapter 25. They completely ruined this amazing idea and I am still a tad angry. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is about April, a normal girl who lives in New York, working an insanely annoying App coding job. It is her life, despite completely despising it. One night on her way home, she passes the local Chipotle and a large Transformer Robot Like structure is just standing there. Just thinking it's a piece of art, she calls a friend and together they film a video about this amazing piece of art that may not be exactly a piece of art. Together they name him Carl. When April awakes the next morning, she is insanely famous for her discovery of the Carls. But New York Carl isn't the only one like his kind, all over the world Carls have appeared. The world is now changed forever by the appearance of these robots, and Aprils life is changed forever as she takes in being a famous discoverer. This book explores the topics of social structures bought upon becoming internet famous, brings about the struggles of the media industry and really the falsities that we are taught about being famous. Which I thought was really cool because Hank was here to EXPOSE the world and I was living, especially since he knows pretty well what it's like to be Internet Famous, practically everyone knows the Greens. So not only was this exploring social media life and internet fame, we also got to see this science robot - potential alien side. All of this mixed together is actually really really good and I loved this part so much. But here's where I started to see more John Green and Less of Hank. Okay also don't get me wrong, I went into this book looking for Hank Green as an author. I didn't want to compare him to his brother at all BUT it just happened because I believe their writing styles are actually very very similar. We have here another boring white girl who believes herself to be so different because she doesn't like Twitter and visits Art Museums instead. But whereas John Green features hopeless straight whites needing to find their tragic lover, Hank features a Bisexual Main Character and a Sapphic Relationship. Hank differs from his brother I believe in, wanting to explore and break normal social gender roles. Which is great of course and I loved but he killed it for me with April by making the only thing that didn't make her your normal Green hopeless romantic white girl, is that she's bisexual. She literally says she isn't like other girls because she doesn't like twitter and goes to Art Museums. Like wow I'm so dang impressed April you're SO QUIRKY I'm so PROUD OF YOU. And it bothered me a lot. What really killed this book though is the Pretentious Ending that made me want to pull my hair out and scream for years. As I said, I didn't want to compare the brothers against each other because I just think it's wrong and I wanted to give him a chance ... but okay were him and John both taught that Pretentious Endings are the Key to a Good Book? The ending tries to explain that we as Humans are more important than we think possible. And OKay sure I'm here for a good "We all need to be here for each other as humans and bring each other up," story line but not when it is randomly thrown in and ruins a GOOOD story line. I cannot STAND this whole we as humans are so much smarter than we believe and we need to believe in our uniqueness because YES we're amazing. Sure we are, but DO NOT build up this book about science and potential aliens and robots and fame and hollywood ONLY to end it on Garbage. It's like the whole middle of this book was thrown out so our Pretentious Overlord could deal this crap onto us. N O W, I do think a lot of people will absolutely love this. But as someone who was read John Greens books for over 5+ years and having to deal with ridiculous characters who think they're so quirky because they don't do normal things, I'm just tired. I'm real tired of this stuff y'all. THE ENDING THAT MADE ME ANGRY. IT'S SPOILERY SO BEWARE! So of course these large robots are aliens. Sentient Beings from across the Universe. And the Carls are sending infectious Dreams through humans minds, making us solve a puzzle. But April is special, she is the chosen ones of the Carls. SO at the end right, she ends up dying because QUIRKY April must have a tragic death. And when she dies she goes into this dream state where she sees Carl and he explains to her that THE CARLS CAME DOWN to unite humans together in being good humans. And to remind US that we are important and unique and beautiful. So you want me to believe this whole time that you built up a story revolving around science, social constructs, fame, and aliens to end it like that?! These huge robot SENTIENT beings from OUTER SPACE came to remind us Humans that are we important? Exit the building please because I am not here for this garbage. It didn't even go well with the story line and here I am BEING angry because it just is pretentious as heck and .. why did I even waste my time. SO YEAH THERES THAT REVIEW. It's a mess but I have been beyond ignored all day and angry so I had to vent out this review. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Immediate thoughts after finishing, sorry if this is disjointed. Excellent read. Great tone, great mystery, great build up. I read it in two days, couldn't put it down. The tone and overall story reminded me of The Oracle Year in a very different but awesome way - so if you liked that, you may like this. I loved both. The main character is going to be one that is love her or hate her, I happened to enjoy her character but I can see where others may not. She's narcissistic and not always likeabl Immediate thoughts after finishing, sorry if this is disjointed. Excellent read. Great tone, great mystery, great build up. I read it in two days, couldn't put it down. The tone and overall story reminded me of The Oracle Year in a very different but awesome way - so if you liked that, you may like this. I loved both. The main character is going to be one that is love her or hate her, I happened to enjoy her character but I can see where others may not. She's narcissistic and not always likeable, but that's what I liked. She was human. And it was fascinating following her journey. And that's what this book is about. Humanity. It's about our addiction to the internet, our addiction to news, our addiction to competition and to being "first." It's about how we divide ourselves so much and we should come together more often. At many points in this book it almost felt more like a manifesto than a novel. I didn't always mind it, but I did notice it. It sort of fits in with the narrator so it worked for me. But there are a lot of things that Hank Green wanted to say in this book and he took the time to say them. I loved this book and the things he had to say. Now that I've finished and I know how it ends (? leaves open for a next book, so here's hoping) I want to read it again more slowly and fully take in the messages and comments on humanity that are there. Something about this book that stands out in the best possible way is that it takes place now. Like right now. I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, so maybe that's not a weird thing for anyone else. But from the references to the core of this book it felt very now in an important way. It made me think about the internet, and social media, and humanity. It made me think about the addictions we all have and how we really are just figuring out how the internet is rewiring our brains and stuff. About how we are constantly fighting battles with strangers and with ourselves. I'll leave you with this - I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in humans and how we relate to each other, and the internet and social media. This book could easily be YA despite the characters being in their twenties. Read it and have conversations about it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Billie

    Well, that was a thing that I read. I mean, it was fun and I love a good cipher, but it was very...moral, wasn't it? Like, at the end, the message/moral (Good things happen when the whole world works together! And it's fun!) started getting in the way of the story. And April May, the protagonist—for as much as Green tries to dull her sparkle— is still a bit of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, with the added bonus of being the Chosen One because even the Carls aren't immune to her quirky charm. But, as Well, that was a thing that I read. I mean, it was fun and I love a good cipher, but it was very...moral, wasn't it? Like, at the end, the message/moral (Good things happen when the whole world works together! And it's fun!) started getting in the way of the story. And April May, the protagonist—for as much as Green tries to dull her sparkle— is still a bit of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, with the added bonus of being the Chosen One because even the Carls aren't immune to her quirky charm. But, as I stated earlier, it was fun and full of good ciphers and a great soundtrack and it is a debut, so some slack must be granted. Gods know it's going to sell a bajlilionty copies, even if it's absolute crap. And it's not absolute crap. it's really quite enjoyable, even if I wanted nearly any other character to be the protagonist (Maya would have been awesome. Or Andy.) 90% of the time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Olivia (The Candid Cover)

    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 ab 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. Full review on The Candid Cover

  19. 4 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    I LOVED this. Like, far more than expected. I haven’t been this engrossed in a story in a very long time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chesca

    To those of you who've sent me friend requests and didn't know the answer to question number 1: "Who the eff is Hank?" Guysss, meet Hank, NY Times Bestselling author John Green's younger brother. Lol I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. WE NEED MORE OF THE GREEN BROTHERS' WORKS IN THE WORLD.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This was my October 2018 Book of the Month pick! Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch

  22. 4 out of 5

    Telthor

    2.5, and I can't decide if I'm rounding up or down and have flipflopped like three times, but down because of all the memes. *insert very large shrug here* I hate the phrase "millennial humor" -- but I think that's what this book is. The sort of humor that fills tumblr to the brim. Where random phrases are CAPSLOCKED, and characters swear in new and interesting ways, and we throw memes around like confetti (including extremely dated ones, like "Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife" from freaking 2010). A 2.5, and I can't decide if I'm rounding up or down and have flipflopped like three times, but down because of all the memes. *insert very large shrug here* I hate the phrase "millennial humor" -- but I think that's what this book is. The sort of humor that fills tumblr to the brim. Where random phrases are CAPSLOCKED, and characters swear in new and interesting ways, and we throw memes around like confetti (including extremely dated ones, like "Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife" from freaking 2010). And maybe that's why I don't like it: I'm surrounded by this sense of humor just about every day, and it feels exhausting. Like I'm trapped in it. I'm not going to lie: Green has some really good ideas about what it's like to be part of this worldwide Internet culture thing. About the reach Twitter has, and about how people can flip out and fangirl so easily. About how for the most part, everyone is really wonderful, and how we can work together to solve things in amazing ways if we would but try. But the trolls can be vocal--and even deadly dangerous--and that's ripped right out of our current headlines. Dr. DisRespect's house was literally shot at a few weeks ago while he was livestreaming, to date this review. This book is fully aware of our world's reality, due in great part to Green's history with podcasting and youtubing. But that's a problem, too. This book is going to be dated really quickly. Yes, I realize it's a contemporary novel. It's talking about our current social and political landscape. I know it uses Twitter and Facebook because That's the Point. And yet. The morals in this book are too heavy handed to be the good support the book needs. Rather than holding the book up and acting as a bone structure for the characters to work on top of, the themes become a heavy weight that the rest of the book has to try and support. It's a reversal of what should be happening, and it's not great. Every couple chapters, Green himself hops up on a soapbox and makes April parrot out his thoughts. His ideas on the tiers of fandom, for instance, or levels of fame, or the impact-the-internet-is-having-on-society interview. It's to the point where it almost feels like Green's liveblog musings (or maybe his podcast? I've not listened to any yet). Ultimately, instead of a cohesive and well-considered book with strong plot points, it feels flabby and a vehicle for these blog post moments. You can always see one of these society/tech/fame/whatever monologues coming, because your eye notices a Huge Block of Text coming up and you wince because you're going to get another speech. But despite all my complaining about the book's floppy structure, there are good things to take away. Having this silent presence behind the action (Carl) and never exactly knowing what's going to happen with them was good--I honestly wasn't sure how it was going to end. It felt like there was an unpredictability factor lingering behind the text. The ending was punchy and fun, and I'm always here for solving huge elaborate puzzles. A dreamworld of puzzles sounds like a dream to me. The last scenes April talks about were really, really top notch, leaving the book on a nice high note (at least before the infodump epilogue killed it, but whatever). Also, even though I believe in the end they weigh down the story, the ideas are relevant to modern readers. Who doesn't want our fractured world to come together, unified in just a few moments, to accomplish some goal? Who doesn't go a little mushy and bubbly with the little feel-good sense you get when you see someone has liked (or, even better, reblogged or commented!) on something that you've created? There's a little flash of excitement when you see a notification on a website, thinking "someone's noticed me!" and this book taps into that, and how it can spiral into something greedy and huge if you let it. It just feels like the book is often nothing more than short blog posts made by Green himself and shoehorned into a plot. All I can do is shrug. It's just not my jam. The sense of humor is too much, the characters' way of speaking too same-voicey due to said sense of humor pervading the entire text, and the ideas are too weighty for the story. But it's relevant and modern and I can see it being the hot new thing for a little while. EDIT REVELATION BECAUSE I'M STILL THINKING ABOUT IT: (view spoiler)[ WAIT A SECOND IF ALL THE CARLS ARE ONE, WHY COME THE NEW YORK CARL IS THE "TRUE" CARL, BUT THE ONE IN CALIFORNIA IS THE ONE WHO LOST THE HAND. ....oh, right, aliens. BUT STILL. (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erik Fazekas

    Dear John, I am sorry to inform you, that you've been dethroned!!! Áno je to tak, toto je lepšie ako posledné Greenovky... ehm, teda johnovky :D Pocitovo mi to pri čítaní pripomínalo Aljašku, keď sa ešte John na nič nehral a písal ako mu huba narástla. Ďakujem Hankovi Greenovi, že zadefinoval contemporary New Adult so scifi twistom ;) Ja milujem knihy o nových dospelých, decká po škole proste riešia špecifický druh problémov a to je na tom mega! Čiže ak ste spisovateľ a napíšete knihu o deckách Dear John, I am sorry to inform you, that you've been dethroned!!! Áno je to tak, toto je lepšie ako posledné Greenovky... ehm, teda johnovky :D Pocitovo mi to pri čítaní pripomínalo Aljašku, keď sa ešte John na nič nehral a písal ako mu huba narástla. Ďakujem Hankovi Greenovi, že zadefinoval contemporary New Adult so scifi twistom ;) Ja milujem knihy o nových dospelých, decká po škole proste riešia špecifický druh problémov a to je na tom mega! Čiže ak ste spisovateľ a napíšete knihu o deckách hneď po škole, sem s nimi! Ja milujem také knihy!!! Toto je kniha o April May, skončila školu, nejakú grafiku, no musí sa zamestnať a tak skončí v startupe... ako väčšina dnešných absolventov. Teda radšej startupe ako v chlieviku v nejakej korporácii. Jeden krásny deň, ehm noc, ide o druhej ráno z práce a natrafí na vysokú sochu uprostred ulice. Jej výtvarnícke jaj jej nedá pokoja a zavolá kamoša, aby natočili krátke video na youtube. April dojde domov, ľahne do postele, a kým po obede vstane, je z nej youtuberská hviezda. Na svete sa totiž naraz zjavilo 64 takýchto sôch, ktoré April pomenovala Carl a tak ich volajú Carlovia. April sa v sekunde dostaáva do kolotoča hviezdy sociálnych médií, youtuberská hviezda, všade sa valia ponuky, dokonca napíše knihu, príde aj na kritiku... Prečo sa mi však kniha páčila a verím jej? Hank sa ako autor naozaj vypracoval. Toto nie je prípad, že niečo zo seba vygrcal a poďme sa všetci posrať aké je to mega. Naozaj na sebe pracoval a dokonca popracoval aj na literárnej stránke svojho diela. Aj keď ho všetci budú pripomínať k Johnovi, táto kniha je napísaná dospelácky, aj štýl myslenie postáv je dospelácky, nie je to proste John cez kopirák. Mne sa osobne veľmi rátala nadstavba príbehu: kritika sociálnych médií, youtuberských hviezd, pohľad do pozadia, čo sa vlastne deje a ako to zmení bežný život, keď sa stanete youtuberskou hviezdou, autor si robí srandu aj zo startupov, z youtubeu, z agentov. Nechýba kritika súčasnej spoločnosti založenej na uctievaní youtuberov, o sile sociálnych médií. Cynický pohľad na celú túto plejádu akože známych osobností. April sama rieši to, že vytvorí tú oficiálnu masku, pod ktorou bude vystupovať, a potom sama seba uchová ako je. Aj keď sa často prekrývajú. Popisuje ups and downs youtubeovej hviezdy, ťažké začiatky, ešte horší nárast popularity. Čo keď zrazu vyschne studňa s peniazmi a tak ďalej. A hlavne ten CLIFFHANGER!!!! OMG!!!! Inak, ja už len čakám, kedy z toho bude film :) Jediné mínus je celý ten problém okolo Karolov a čo predstavujú. Naozaj sú to mimozemšťania? Alebo je to len pokus nejakého filantropa ako zblížiť našu roztrieštenú pozornosť? Who knows. Ale zasa si myslím, že Hank vybral naschvál takýto "nereálny" dôvod slávy, aby sa doňho nemohli pustiť jeho kolegovia youtuberi, že ich zhadzuje. Ale mne sa to páčilo. Akože fakt! Každopádne odporúčam! Počkajte na slovenský preklad od Albatrosu, bude mega!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Read on submission in one sitting. All I can say is all hail the Greens

  25. 5 out of 5

    Iulia

    What a thrill! Review to come.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cori Reed

    I don't know that I've ever used the term 'millennial', but I suppose I am one so it's time to embrace it. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing will appeal to millenials. At first it seemed a bit too I HAVE A NARRATIVE to me, but in the end I really enjoyed it, and the ending was exactly what I wanted. It's weird, it is definitely social commentary, it isn't YA (although there is crossover appeal), and it's very much not his brother.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    "Uma coisa absolutamente fantástica" é um livro incrível! Você pode até não pensar, a princípio, que um livro sobre uma youtuber bissexual que encontra um robô alienígena gigante possa ser super-reflexivo, mas é. De forma divertida e surreal — como referências a Carly Rae Jepsen, páginas na Wikipedia e outras loucuras —, Hank Green criou um livro que nos faz refletir muito sobre sociedade, política, sucesso e outros debates. Uma das coisas mais interessantes, para mim, foi como é fácil fazer uma "Uma coisa absolutamente fantástica" é um livro incrível! Você pode até não pensar, a princípio, que um livro sobre uma youtuber bissexual que encontra um robô alienígena gigante possa ser super-reflexivo, mas é. De forma divertida e surreal — como referências a Carly Rae Jepsen, páginas na Wikipedia e outras loucuras —, Hank Green criou um livro que nos faz refletir muito sobre sociedade, política, sucesso e outros debates. Uma das coisas mais interessantes, para mim, foi como é fácil fazer uma ligação entre a situação dos Carls e o posicionamento contra e a favor ao atual cenário político do Brasil, com discursos de ódio inflamados que chegam às vias de fato. Uma das primeiras coisas que me chamou atenção nessa história foi a April ter vinte e poucos anos e estar perdida na vida pós-faculdade. Às vezes a gente se sente meio sozinha no mundo, porque sinto que falta um "buraco" nos livros que narrem essa fase da vida de forma mais real. E Hank me deu isso - personagens da minha idade, que vivem conflitos próximos aos meus e dos meus amigos. Eu amei esse livro, o final é louco e inacreditável. Sei que o autor já está trabalhando numa continuação e acho que é a primeira vez em anos que estou ansiosa por isso.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    HOLY BANANAS, HANK. What an incredible book! Relevant, insightful, shades-of-grey social commentary blends seamlessly with a compelling sci-fi adventure (with a fun dose of mystery, too!). The narrator's voice was perfect, snark and honesty and the fake-it-til-you-make-it confidence I know too well as a 20-something trying to find my way in the world like April, and it was at once vastly different from the Hank Green I "know" from YouTube and yet deeply recognizable as his work. Another little th HOLY BANANAS, HANK. What an incredible book! Relevant, insightful, shades-of-grey social commentary blends seamlessly with a compelling sci-fi adventure (with a fun dose of mystery, too!). The narrator's voice was perfect, snark and honesty and the fake-it-til-you-make-it confidence I know too well as a 20-something trying to find my way in the world like April, and it was at once vastly different from the Hank Green I "know" from YouTube and yet deeply recognizable as his work. Another little thing I appreciated: April the character warns the reader when she's about to describe something violent. It's not a heavy-handed "here's the author disrupting the narrative to Protect The Audience" move, which would have yanked me out of the deeply immersive experience of the novel, but nor did it just throw me into gore (something I don't necessarily handle very well) without warning. It was like a friend saying "hey btw things are gonna get real gross in a second. Here's what happened..." and it was a really small touch but it was one I loved! My one complaint is that I DON'T HAVE THE SEQUEL! This was an absolutely remarkable book (hehe see what I did there?) and I will absolutely be sharing it with my friends (and coworkers, and library patrons, and possibly random strangers on the street...).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luu

    Túto knihu som čítala ešte v čase, keď sa volala April May and New York Carl - a tak už STO ROKOV ŽIJEM S VEDOMÍM, ŽE JE STRAŠNE SUPER A JA TO NEMÔŽEM NIKOMU POVEDAŤ. AAAGHHRR!!! Mám na srdci dve veci, ktoré by som vám o tejto vskutku pozoruhodnej záležitosti rada povedala: 1) Nie je to YA a nie je to nový John Green. Nope. Nopity Nope. Nič z toho. Mám Johna Greena rada, ale... úprimne... všetky jeho knihy sú o tom istom. A Hank Green je ako závan sviežeho vzduchu - ľahký, vtipný, zábavný a bez ot Túto knihu som čítala ešte v čase, keď sa volala April May and New York Carl - a tak už STO ROKOV ŽIJEM S VEDOMÍM, ŽE JE STRAŠNE SUPER A JA TO NEMÔŽEM NIKOMU POVEDAŤ. AAAGHHRR!!! Mám na srdci dve veci, ktoré by som vám o tejto vskutku pozoruhodnej záležitosti rada povedala: 1) Nie je to YA a nie je to nový John Green. Nope. Nopity Nope. Nič z toho. Mám Johna Greena rada, ale... úprimne... všetky jeho knihy sú o tom istom. A Hank Green je ako závan sviežeho vzduchu - ľahký, vtipný, zábavný a bez otravných YA trópov. Je to kniha pre čerstvých dvadsiatnikov s úplne inými životnými situáciami, na aké ste z YA zvyknutí. 2) Je to presne ten typ šialenej knihy, aký MILUJEM. Jedného dňa sa v každej svetovej metropole zjaví záhadná socha. April je prvá, kto na sochu narazí, natočí o nej video a ide spať - a keď sa zobudí, video je virálne a z nej je hviezda internetu. Príbeh nie je ani tak o tom, čo záhadné sochy znamenajú, ale skôr o Aprilinom pohľade na MNOŽSTVO stránok zákulisia internetovej slávy, ktorými je kniha prestúpená od začiatku do konca. (A čo na tom tak milujem? Že každé jedno odhalenie o mimozemských sochách je BIZARNEJŠIE A ŠIALENEJŠIE ako predchádzajúce, až si musíte položiť otázku... deje sa to naozaj? Alebo je to celé len metafora, ktorou kniha získava úplne novú úroveň...?) Čítala som tú knihu už fakt strašne dávno a utkvelo mi v pamäti vážne veľa momentov. Uvidím, čo poviem, keď sa k nej onedlho vrátim, pretože už nejaký čas žijem aj s vedomím, že to VYJDE V SLOVENČINE! (A ŽE IDEM PREKLADAŤ HANKA GREENA, HOLY SHIT IDEM PREKLADAŤ KNIHU HANKA GREENA!!! Keď sa niekto raz budete vracať v čase a budete chcieť vidieť, ako moje pätnásťročné ja spadne v záchvate smiechu zo stoličky, povedzte mu to.) Veľmi sa teším, a vy by ste sa mali tiež.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melina Souza

    Aaaah! Devorei! Não sei se consigo falar sobre o livro agora. Muitas coisas para organizar na cabeça :x ps: impossível não relacionar com o momento atual assustador do Brasil (2018).

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