Book Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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Title: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author: Hank Green
Publication Date: 2018
Publishing House: Dutton

This book did not make me cry, so go Hank Green. If you read about my fall book haul you may remember that John Green books tend to make me cry, so I don’t read them often. Thanks again to my wonderful husband for adding more books to my to-read shelf and getting this one for me.

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three AM, 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 best 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—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us. 

This is a fascinating book and the Carl’s are just the tip of that iceberg. Weird, alien status are the catalyst that gets this story moving but they aren’t the heart of the story. The depth in this story comes in the form of fame. Green’s story dives head first into the ways that social media and fame – on various scales – changes people.

The power that each of us has over complete strangers to make them feel terrible and frightened and weak is amazing.”

-Hank Green

This book is the opening act of a larger story. I want to know how it ends but I’m okay waiting. On a different note, this book is a commentary on how groups can divide upon idea lines and how neither side can say the other, both radical and irrational in their own way even if they seem rational to themselves. April May finds herself becoming her brand in relation to the Carl’s and promoting things that even she doesn’t believe 100%. She has to wonder if the people in her inner circle like her for her or if they are blinded by her fame.

If you want an mild-scifi book that explores how fame and social media influence everyone then I recommend this book to you. Happy reading.

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