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Sunday, 14 October 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. (Mindscape Reviews #6)






I have been awaiting to read Hank Green’s debut novel for more months than I will admit. And, when it was finally released, I read it in one go. Not because it was Hank Green & I love him. Not because I wanted to get ahead of the spoilers. But, just because, I COULDN’T find a way to stop reading this absolutely remarkable & intriguing story. You just cannot stop.






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Introduction:
I am going to do my best to review this book without giving away the main parts or any spoilers. So, first of all, Hank Green, along with John Green are vloggers at Nerdfighters. They are both awesome. I was already a John Green fan because he writes amazingly! Now, I am also Hank’s.

This novel is a young-adult version of a modern sci-fi genre. The main character is April May, who stumbles across a huge piece of art, which she describes as a transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour. She walks by it because such things are always there in New York City. But, then she realizes how cool it actually is. She calls up her Youtuber friend, Andy Skampt. Together, they film a video with the sculpture who she names Carl. It begins as an almost trivial thing and only in a few hours becomes a world sensation. They get to know that the exact same statue has been mysteriously popped up in many many place all around the globe! And that’s just the beginning of everything strange!
The story revolves around April May & the Carls. Hank Green highlights how fame, money & social media can impact a young girl’s life & lead to some global changes. We get to see April change from a normal graphic designer working a normal job to becoming an internet sensation.

Characters:
April May! I can go on & on about April May. (I assume there would be a movie of this & it would be amazing if someone like Emma Watson plays the role of April May!) April starts with being that girl-next-door who works at a start-up & works long hours. She is a graphic designer, which makes her an artist, in her opinion. She looked at Carls like they were a piece of art. She looked at normal every-day things like they were art. I really liked that about her.
She’s bisexual which is another thing I loved. Hank Green has tried to focus slightly but brilliantly in support of the LGBTQ community by portraying her as bi. You’ll know that part when you get to it in the book.
As the story progresses, you understand how satisfying it would have been to create an incredibly flawed protagonist. She will do exactly what you don't want her to do & end up in trouble. That's how the story goes on though, so you will love her for being unapologetically herself. While she does all kinds of wrong, you will also realise she is so incredibly optimistic so much so that she believes in humanity. She grows so much throughout the story, it's amazing!

Andy Skampt is the other 50% contributor of the viral Carl video. He is a nerdy vlogger with a lot of perspectives about everything. He is the calm in the middle of the chaos & knows perfectly well how to calm the ones around him.

Miranda Beckwith is a materials-science grad student. She is the reason April understood what the Carls really were! If you are not interested, even after reading this, there's something wrong with you!
So, she is the key 'sci' to the 'fi' of April!

Some other characters are Maya, who is April's girlfriend. She also becomes vital to solving something that the whole world is solving pertaining to the mystery of Carls. But, of course, she is way better at it.
Then, there's Robin, who is April's assistant. So, yes, she becomes that important. Who knows, maybe even the President of United States visits her with relation to the Carls, their mystery & the solution.

Overall Thoughts:
For a debut novel, Hank Green has done a fantastic job. Having to think of the story line after doing in-depth research about the scientific side & also stressing on the fame & social media addiction while slightly supporting for LGBTQ & doing all this with stressing on humanity & optimism & all the time keeping it so incredibly interesting was pure writing talent! To put up so many perspectives & areas of importance in one novel was quite commendable.
Apart from the underlying meanings that we get from 'An Absolutely Remarkable Thing', it leaves us with an intriguing end wanting to come back & read it again & wanting for more. I might be biased because I love the Greens, but honestly, every chapter has so many ups & downs that it is impossible to not continue. After the end of every chapter, you'll say, "One more", until you read it entirely at one go! So, go ahead & start reading! I have given it a 4/5 stars on Goodreads.



Typical April May lines:
Is that her or are we all really the same?

“It’s just that there are a lot of people doing a lot of amazing things, so eventually you get a little jaded.”

“The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So, the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care.”

“They tell you that power corrupts… They never tell you how quickly!”

“Knowing something is a bad idea does not always decrease the odds that you will do it.”

“Once life gets a certain amount of weird, more weird just doesn’t really matter.”

“I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. My life had been turned inside out and upside down and then blended, spiced, spliced and rebranded.”

“I hadn’t been called on my bullshit in a while. It was unpleasant but also a little refreshing.”

“Deep down, you dislike yourself enough that you cannot imagine anyone worthwhile actually wanting to be with you.”

Until Next time,



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