Hank Green, notorious brother of YA king John Green, has finally written a book and it’s like nothing you’ve ever read from his brother. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing was my October book of the month pick and I actually read it within a month of receiving it in the mail, which is an absolute feat of nature. I knew literally nothing about this book before I clicked the “add this to my box” button and I’m so pleased with what I found. It’s speculative fiction and full of social media and a young, fascinating female character who is flawed but not self-hating and I loveeeeeee it.
April May is just chilling, walking through NYC late in the evening (almost morning) when she discover: Carl. A huge,hulking, immovable sculpture, he immediately fascinates design-school graduate April and her video-savvy friend Andy, and they make a video with him, wondering where he came from, what he means, et cetera. But that video goes viral when it becomes clear that NYC Carl isn’t the only Carl. There are dozens of Carls all over the world, in Hollywood and Sao Paolo and Tokyo, you get the idea. It’s…crazy. Because no one is taking credit for the Carls, no one can move them, no one knows how they got there, and no one can explain how the Carls were made. Because the Carls aren’t just weird…they might be out of the world. That’s how April gets pulled into being a social media star, the spokesperson for the Carl movement and also a leader of an online community trying to figure out just what the heck is going on with Carl. But not everyone is convinced that Carl is kind and benign. There are others out there who want to end the Carls and everyone who represents them, which puts April may in the crosshairs of her own social media race and a clash of clans. Where did Carl come from? What does he want? And why is everyone having the same dream now that April has come onto the scene?
This book is speculative fiction but grounded in reality, grounded in the social media landscape we recognize with fantastical elements like sculptures from outer space and dreams shared by millions of people with puzzles to unlock, but it drew me in. I thought this was a stand alone novel but let me tell you, once you get to THAT ending, you will understand that it is NOT a stand alone. I don’t know much about the next book yet, but I know everyone who has read this book is already clamoring for it.