Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green

There are no spoilers in this review.

I don’t know how to start this review, except with: welcome to my favorites’ shelf? I had been anticipating Hank Green’s debut for so long and no, not because he is one of my favorite authors’ brother, but because I admire him deeply. I’ve been loving everything he does and projects he carries on and was eagerly anticipating his debut, curious to see whether or not he’d deliver with this intriguing premise he had for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and, spoiler alert, he really did.

A CONTEMPORARY WITH A TWIST

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing takes place in a contemporary world just like ours, in a New York City we are familiar with, whether it’s for living there, having visited, or seen the city in movies and countless TV shows. Yet, this book delivers an interesting mix of contemporary and… science-fiction, almost, dabbling in impossible things, strange, massive sculptures appearing out of nowhere and with no explanations at all. Right from the start, it’s this mix of familiarity, yet strangeness, that drew me in and captivated me, too. Dreams, science, new technologies, strange events: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing delivers a very Hank Green mix and I absolutely loved that.

REALISTIC, INTERESTING CHARACTERS

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At the heart of the story, we have April, our main character, a 23 years-old working at a small start-up. Starting her life, a bit lost in her twenties. Hello, familiarity. I just need to say how refreshing and good it was to have a main character in her twenties (mostly because I tend to read YA books with characters being younger than me) and April was such an interesting one. She was not likeable at all times, that’s for certain and she does some questionable things in the book, too. Yet, I could relate, I could understand, I could see how deeply human she was depicted, in front of the strange events happening, the fame falling on her all of a sudden and everything else, too. How it changed her, her relationships to others, her views on herself and on the world, too. Exploring this with April was so very interesting and, if she was certainly a little bit of a tool to convey messages about fame, well I was all for that.

The book also gives us an interesting cast of surrounding characters, as well. From her friends, video and pod-casts makers, to her girlfriend Maya (April is bisexual), to April’s parents – I appreciated how they all surrounded, influenced her and how each of them had their own thoughts and agenda, too. And yes, I said parents, because April communicates with them too and it was refreshing and nice to see how these two milk-producers were adorably there and awkwardly too close and unable to Skype properly. My heart.

IDENTITY, INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA & FAME

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In his brilliant debut, Hank Green writes with an entertaining, fast-paced prose. It’s not flowery in any way, but I found myself hooked right from the start. He uses his words and his characters to convey important messages, too. He talks about identity, about losing yourself, about being who you really are, or the brand you’re creating and how lines sometimes blur between these two, a message that particularly strikes me as an online content creator. I mean, book blogger, there’s a bit of that.
And that ending had me gasping and staring into empty air for, like, a too long time for it not to be awkward.

OVERALL

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I wish I could write more, or less, or something worthy of this new favorite, but I can’t. I really think it’s a book to try, because Hank Green certainly has potential as a writer, a story teller and once again delivers great messages about internet, social media, fame and humanity all bundled up in a super entertaining story I couldn’t stop reading. Please read it? I need to talk about it.

Final rating:Β  yeah, I loved it so a hurricane.

Trigger warnings: one quick scene of graphic violence – clearly marked in the book at the head of the chapter.

 


Hank Green, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Β Published by Dutton, September 25th, 2018.

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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 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.

Did you read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing? Do you want to?

Do you have any great recommendations for me of books with main characters in their twenties? I’d love to read more of these! Let me know your thoughts in comments, I always love to hear from you!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

52 thoughts on “Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green

  1. I loved this book so much and I completely agree with your review. I loved reading about someone my age as well, it was so refreshing. And the story was so original and I loved the social media / fame aspect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I’m so happy to hear it ❀ I really enjoyed the story overall, it was so unique and all of the social media talk was interesting, I agree! ❀ ❀
      Thank you so much Lia! ❀

      Like

    1. I’m so happy to hear it! This book was fantastic – I couldn’t stop reading, it was so intriguing haha πŸ˜€ I can’t wait for the sequel, especially with that ending!
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Like

  2. Yes!!!!

    We have discussed this already but so much LOVE for this book. Hank has achieved something truly incredible (remarkable, you might say) with this piece of work.
    Even though it was mostly an example of April’s shittiest self, I loved her and Maya’s relationship. I mean, it made me mad, but it felt so authentic to me. Commitment issues are heavily romanticised in literature, but the truth of it is that it’s painful (for both parties), selfish and damaging behaviour and I loved how Hank showed it – while still having compassion for who April was. While the ending drove me crazy and I NEED a sequel, how completely unresolved things were left with them really only added to that sense of authenticity for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I so agree with you about that. It made me so mad, to see how April acted with Maya, yet at the same time it felt so realistic, how everything was handled.
      I can’t wait to read more from Hank and hope for that sequel very soon haha, I need to know what happens next!
      Thank you!! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been waiting for this review! You’ve been talking about this book for the last few posts, and while I could have just looked it up myself, I was waiting for you to write about it in your own words. I’ve already added it to my amazon wish list (which is much much longer than it was at the start of this year). Great post Marie xx

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Melina this means so much to hear that you were waiting for that post! ❀ I'm so happy to hear it's on your list now and I can't wait to hear what you think of it πŸ˜€
      Thank you! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The synopsis for this book sounds interesting! I’m very intrigued by the science fiction elements of it. Also, the main character is the same age as me – which is something I don’t encounter often either (since I also mostly read ya). I definitely plan on reading this book, it sounds like one I would very much enjoy. πŸ˜€ Great review Marie! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear this, Anna! I agree, I don’t see many protagonists with the same age as me, since I mostly read young adult books and they’re a bit younger, so it felt nice to read someone closer to my age πŸ˜€
      I really hope you’ll enjoy it πŸ˜€
      Thank you!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get that feeling, it took me a little while to put my thoughts together too, and I’m still not quite satisfied with it. This book was so special, I loved it so muchh! And YES that ending – we need MORE as soon as possible!!
      Thank you so much Margaret πŸ˜€

      Like

  5. I did not realize this book existed, and therefore did not realize how much I needed it in my life until this very moment. πŸ˜‰ I screamed when I saw ‘Hank Green,’ because for me, he is the guy who does the Crash Course Biology videos that I binge before every test…haha. This was a wonderful review, and I’m adding it to my TBR right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH really, I find it so amazing that you watch his videos for classes. It’s so cool. I learn so much from him every time and just love him SO much. I can’t wait for you to read it, Olivia, I hope you’ll love it ❀
      Thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review for this book Marie. πŸ™‚ ❀ An Absolutely Remarkable Thing sounds really good, I may have to add it to my TBR list as well; I'm glad it made it onto your favourites shelf but also that it stood on it's own rather than just the fact that it was written by Hank Green you know? It seems like it has some solid representation, and I love that you mentioned there's an interesting cast of surrounding characters, when it comes to books and contemporary stories I'm weak for strong relationships and well written secondary characters, which I'm guessing this book had plenty of. πŸ™‚
    Again great review. πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Beth! ❀ I really hope you’ll read it, I have a feeling this could be the kind of book you’d enjoy, it was a very entertaining kind of read and I loved the mystery, too ❀
      Thank you!! ❀❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this! I just recently bought it, but i’m struggling to find time to read on top of going to college. I haven’t read a book in so long ): This is on my top list of books to read when i’m done with my college reading slump though! I read the first few sentences and loved the writing style. :3

    -Amber

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get that so much – I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been in a slump 😦 I hope you’ll be able to read more soon, I’m sending you all the positive vibes Amber ❀
      I hope you'll love it when you read it πŸ˜€
      thank you so much!! ❀

      Like

    1. Oh thank you so much Raven! ❀ ❀ I'm always having a hard time finding these kind of books, too, we need more of them – or I need to find them somewhere, they're well hidden hahaha. πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. I’ve seen this about but was a bit wary, and then your review totally convinced me (thanks!). I am definitely enjoying reading older protagonists these days and I love those deeply human and flawed characters. Your review made this sound right up my alley–thanks for sharing and being thoughtful, as always ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ah, Marie, I had almost the exact same thoughts about this one. I LOVED it and I’m sure it will make an appearance on my favorites of 2018 list at the end of the year. April felt so human and relatable– even when I didn’t agree with her decision, I could 100% understand them. This book was just so compulsively readable and I never wanted to put it down! Wonderful review, as always ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, I am so, so happy to hear you enjoyed that one as much as I did Madalyn ❀ It was such a compulsive kind of read, I couldn’t stop reading it. I agree about April – I didn’t necessarily agree with her at all times, yet I could feel where she came from and I just… I don’t know, I loved this book so much! ❀
      Thank you so much for your comment! πŸ˜€

      Like

    1. Same here – I’m right in the middle of my twenties and want to read more books with characters like these πŸ™‚
      I hope you’ll get to read this book soon, it was really, really great πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much, Lauren ❀

      Like

  10. I’m glad you liked this one! I actually just finished it too, although I think John Green’s books are more my style. πŸ˜‚Not that I want to compare the brothers, because their genres are obviously wildly different here! But I also am interested in trying to read more books with characters in their 20s…like I LOVED Strange the Dreamer for it, and also A Darker Shade of Magic!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahah I get that, their writing and genres are different for sure, but it was so good to read that one. I’ve always been curious about Hank’s writing and well, now I know πŸ˜‚
      Ahhhhh, I knew about ADSOM having characters in their twenties, I read and loved this series, but I had NO idea Strange The Dreamer had some, too?? That’s GREAT ahhh. πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much, Cait! ❀

      Like

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