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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green | Book Review

Friday, 18 January 2019
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green - Book review flatlay

I requested this on the sole reason that April May the protagonist was a graphic designer (and maybe cause I read it as by John Green not Hank Green oops). A designer is one of those professions that tend to be used a lot but I have rarely read a YA novel with a protagonist designer. April May, fresh out of Uni and in her first design job felt rather relatable, even though I don’t have to do the long hours and boring jobs she describes.

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.

So let’s just say I was rather happy about the whole designer going viral on the internet thing, it sounded right up my alley... But then the Carls turned up. Nope this isn’t a story about a graphic designer and the internet it’s a story about alien robots?!? Knowing this I maybe wouldn’t have requested it but boy am I glad I did because it was excellent! ‘Alien’ Sci-fi conspiracy type books really aren’t my thing, I enjoy fantasy and different worlds but aliens weirdly aren’t my thing.

It sort of reminded me a bit of Ready Player One, in which the world is essentially playing a game in another realm, in this case the Dream (which I won’t go into too much as spoilers), and working together to uncover clues and passwords.

I think the only down point really was other than April May, Green didn’t really go into any of the other characters, they were just there because they needed to be there to fit the story and no back story was added. Which may have been done on purpose due to the selfish ‘everything revolves around me’ attitude April May seemed to have as she was the one telling the story, she probably didn’t care about the backstories of the people she met.

I enjoyed the way the story was told, a little less so in the middle when Green tried to speed up the story and skipped months which was a little hard to follow, but mostly it was really easy to read and follow. It goes into not only the positive points but also the negative points of becoming popular on the internet which Hank Green probably knows a little about himself. April May, while self-centered at times was also very relatable and hilarious (I may have laughed out loud more than once) which made you just want to read more and find out what happened next.

Overall, a thoroughly gripping and exciting novel that I’m rather happy with being my first read of the year! I rated it 4.5 stars, but rounded up to 5 on Goodreads as I was pleasantly surprised at enjoying a sci-fi story, plus I’m super excited for the sequel after that intense ending!

* This copy was provided by HachetteNZ in exchange for review, as always all opinions are my own.

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