An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
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.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing Details

TitleAn Absolutely Remarkable Thing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherDutton
Rating
GenreFiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Science Fiction

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing Review

  • Hank
    January 1, 1970
    I think I'm the only person here who has read this book, and I think it's pretty good. I hope you like it.
  • Tammy
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
    January 1, 1970
    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!)
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  • Haley
    January 1, 1970
    I CAN'T WAAAAIT!
  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    *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
  • The Full Bookshelf Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    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 AheadCause I needHank Green's novel Like a puppy sized elephant needs water And as I wait for a release dateMy need growsOh AccioBook titleIncendio The word 'untitled'I hope it lives up to all my hopesOh AccioA book by Hank GreenOh, AccioA book by Hank Green!And, Hank, I'll see you on my Followed Authors list.DFTBA
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  • Taylor Ramirez
    January 1, 1970
    "Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May..."April MayNope. Ya lost me.
  • Melissa Rochelle
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Chesca
    January 1, 1970
    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. LolI AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS. WE NEED MORE OF THE GREEN BROTHERS' WORKS IN THE WORLD.
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  • Kales
    January 1, 1970
    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
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  • Billie
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Kelsey
    January 1, 1970
    Read on submission in one sitting. All I can say is all hail the Greens
  • Lindsey
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    The first time that I heard about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing I did a double take. I have always loved Hank and the concept of this book is so amazing. It is showing on Goodreads that it is YA, but the age of the main character makes me question that. I am all over this and I think it will be an interesting look at the way social media/the internet has affected our world. This book is definitely one that will be on my fall TBR.
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  • Sarah Tribble
    January 1, 1970
    I want to read this because the main characters are called April and Andy, and — well. A good Parks and Rec reference is all I need, really.
  • Leah (Jane Speare)
    January 1, 1970
    With the fortuitous combination of good timing and a photogenic personality, April May becomes a household name overnight when she films the appearance of a remarkable giant statue in New York City. Unbeknownst to her, this is one of dozens around the globe that appeared that day. April recounts her bizarre discovery in a series of crazy events which begin with her breaking up with her girlfriend, and end with an attempt on her life. Balancing snark and humor with relatable politics, Hank Green With the fortuitous combination of good timing and a photogenic personality, April May becomes a household name overnight when she films the appearance of a remarkable giant statue in New York City. Unbeknownst to her, this is one of dozens around the globe that appeared that day. April recounts her bizarre discovery in a series of crazy events which begin with her breaking up with her girlfriend, and end with an attempt on her life. Balancing snark and humor with relatable politics, Hank Green delves into the effects of instant internet fame, both psychological and material. April's account also features an unusual quest: think Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, but with giant alien statues and on a global scale. Calling all humans, here's a story that's both noteworthy and fresh--you could say, a remarkable book.
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  • Austen
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so glad I got my hands on an ARC copy of Hank's book! I'm also glad that I had a day off this week, because I spent the whole time reading AART in one sitting. The first thing I'll say is that Hank did a great job at keeping the tension up--by the end of chapter 2 I was hooked.This is a book about a woman who finds a sort-of-robot, but really, I think it's a book about how easy it is to allow good intentions to lead to saviorism, and how humans are wired for community in the best AND worst w I'm so glad I got my hands on an ARC copy of Hank's book! I'm also glad that I had a day off this week, because I spent the whole time reading AART in one sitting. The first thing I'll say is that Hank did a great job at keeping the tension up--by the end of chapter 2 I was hooked.This is a book about a woman who finds a sort-of-robot, but really, I think it's a book about how easy it is to allow good intentions to lead to saviorism, and how humans are wired for community in the best AND worst ways. I was worried about Hank's ability to write a believable female main character, but I think largely because of his amazing first readers (Ashley C. Ford and Gaby Dunn, among others) he pulls it off. April is flawed in the same way so many of us in social justice circles are--she wants to make the world a better place, but she gets sucked into a lot of ends-justify-the-means thinking that in some ways costs her her humanity. Because the story is told in first person, but from a distance in time, April is able to both describe what happened and also analyze it and realize her mistakes, which is something that the average person can't do in their everyday. What this means in the book is that there are sometimes breaks in the narrative where April explains what she was thinking or why she did what she did, and rather than finding these breaks annoying I actually appreciated the commentary they provided on issues we're facing right now--issues like how social media affects people's ability to change their minds. To me, at least, it never felt like April was lecturing the reader--she just provided her own experience and some food for thought--but that could very well be influenced by the fact that I agreed with most of her conclusions.I always have a hard time poorly rating a book that I devour in one sitting, but sometimes I'll do it if I find the ending really unsatisfying. This time, though, I thought the ending held up to all the tension Hank drew out along the way, and I can't wait for the sequel. Hank's definitely got his work cut out for him in the next book!
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  • Shreya
    January 1, 1970
    hank green is writing a book HECK
  • Dorrit
    January 1, 1970
    This book will only get good reviews. Not because of the book oH no! It's because Hank Green,- the entire vlog brothers enterprise - are Great Advertisers. L00k at the title! It's BAIT for their baby minions to write in their squeal reviews that An absolutely remarkable thing is An absolutely remarkable thing. They love being told what to think. And you don't get better than the Vlogbrothers at it.
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  • 세이지
    January 1, 1970
    I AM FREAKING EXCITED TO READ THIS. Accio, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing![image error]I NEEED TO HAVE THIS BOOK ALREADY AHHHHHHHH WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER STARTS[image error][image error]Edit:05/31/2018 : STILL WAITING FOR SEPTEMBER TO ARRIVE SO I CAN FINALLY GET MY COPY
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  • ☽ MaryJane ✨
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds eerliy familiar to Sleeping Giants...I wonder how this will approach the concept. Definitely intrigued.
  • Hope Decker
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, April May is an awesome name for a character. And coincidentally, she ended up being a kick-ass character as well. And when I say kick-ass, I definitely don't mean perfect. In fact, most of the pain and suffering in this book was actually caused by April May. What I appreciated, though, was the perspective that she gave to the story, this larger than life story. April's story about the New York Carl and her role in the world-wide phenomenon is ill-fated and ill-advised, and she tel First of all, April May is an awesome name for a character. And coincidentally, she ended up being a kick-ass character as well. And when I say kick-ass, I definitely don't mean perfect. In fact, most of the pain and suffering in this book was actually caused by April May. What I appreciated, though, was the perspective that she gave to the story, this larger than life story. April's story about the New York Carl and her role in the world-wide phenomenon is ill-fated and ill-advised, and she tells the tale with a large grain of salt.I laughed a lot while reading this, and there were enough "oh wow, I didn't see that coming" moments to keep me hooked on the story. What's neat is that I have a whole other level of appreciation for April's story of rising to fame, tearing herself apart and building herself up again. April's addiction to internet fame explains a lot of her behavior, and it's easy to see how this is actually a real issue that we deal with in our tech-saturated lives--though not to quite the scale of April may's 17 million + followers!The tone of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is sarcastically aware, with plenty of wry humor, but there are moments of actual feelings too, which made it the perfect balance. I'd recommend this to the new adult crowd, the YA lovers, and sci-fi readers. I'm an eclectic reader who's only read a couple of sc-fi books in my day, but this was actually not that crazy a premise to get on board with. I think a broad audience would enjoy this quirky tale of epic proportions!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    On deadline and putting this on hold for now. 1. This is definitely New Adult and not Young Adult, so I think that sidebar tag should be updated.2. The main character's voice is definitely in the love-it-or-hate-it category
  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    apparently the main character in this is bi so, like, god bless hank green for this I can't effin wait
  • no
    January 1, 1970
    honestly this doesn't feel like something i'd like........... but IT'S HANK
  • Crystal Rudd
    January 1, 1970
    Can't wait for the cover reveal
  • Jerry Lesperance
    January 1, 1970
    i technically didn’t actually finish it. here’s why: the main character is annoying, the plot moves way too fast, the writing is lazy, and personally it’s just not my kind of book. i adore hank green from the bottom of my heart, but i think that he should stick to sci show, crash course, and of course the vlogbrothers. i never found myself wanting to keep reading this book. i would have to force myself and i hate it when i feel like i have to force myself to read something. maybe i’ll pick it up i technically didn’t actually finish it. here’s why: the main character is annoying, the plot moves way too fast, the writing is lazy, and personally it’s just not my kind of book. i adore hank green from the bottom of my heart, but i think that he should stick to sci show, crash course, and of course the vlogbrothers. i never found myself wanting to keep reading this book. i would have to force myself and i hate it when i feel like i have to force myself to read something. maybe i’ll pick it up again in the future but for now i’m sticking to my philosophy: if a book hasn’t gotten me interested within the first one hundred pages, it’s not one to continue reading. there’s so many good books in this world to read, why waste your time on one you don’t like?
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so excited for Hank! I've been thinking this was in the works for a long time now, about as long as John's new book has. I'm excited to see him write his own book, and, with his creative mind and love of Sci-Fi, I can't imagine it will be anything less than fantastic! He puts his all in everything he does, and I can't wait to read all about his latest project!
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so excited for this! It sounds like such a quirky plot!
  • Aviva
    January 1, 1970
    Got this as an advanced readers' copy from Hachette. (Ah, the perks of bookselling!) This is one of the many times I wish Goodreads allowed half stars, because I would give this book three and a half stars. It was a hard choice between three and four because I want to try to give this book an honest review based on the book itself and not be biased by my love of Hank Green! There are some things that I really liked about it; it is extremely readable, it shines an interesting light on a number of Got this as an advanced readers' copy from Hachette. (Ah, the perks of bookselling!) This is one of the many times I wish Goodreads allowed half stars, because I would give this book three and a half stars. It was a hard choice between three and four because I want to try to give this book an honest review based on the book itself and not be biased by my love of Hank Green! There are some things that I really liked about it; it is extremely readable, it shines an interesting light on a number of aspects of society today (internet fame, the need for constant admiration and affirmation bred by social media, the divisiveness of politics and the culture wars at this moment in time), it's at times funny, but also has an emotional honesty that can be quite poignant. I was not crazy about the protagonist, April May, and found some of the decisions she made and her motivation for making them, infuriating and hard to fathom. I would have also loved if some of the science of the science-fiction aspect of this book had been more well fleshed out. I'm a fan of hard sci-fi, and know Hank Green as an amazing science communicator, so had anticipated more focus on that side of things. In fact, when it was announced he'd be writing a book, I had actually expected - and hoped - that it would be a science-explainy-type book rather than fiction! (Not that he's in any way obligated to do that just because that's what he's known for! But man, I'd be so on top of that book if he ever does write it!) The ending of the book leaves open the possibility for a sequel, and in today's Vlogbrothers video, Hank mentioned that there's one in the works. I'll be looking forward to reading that, both to see how the narrative continues and to see how Hank's writing style and voice develop.
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