Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Green, Hank






"In his much-anticipated debut novel, Hank Green-cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow-spins a sweeping, cinematic tale about a young woman who becomes an overnight celebrity before realizing she's part of something bigger, and stranger,than anyone could have possibly imagined. 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. Compulsively entertaining and powerfully relevant, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing grapples with big themes, including howthe social internet is changing fame, rhetoric, and radicalization; how our culture deals with fear and uncertainty; and how vilification and adoration spring from the same dehumanization that follows a life in the public eye"-





Hank Green is the CEO of Complexly, a production company that creates educational content, including Crash Course and SciShow, prompting The Washington Post to name him "one of America's most popular science teachers." Complexly's videos have been viewed more than two billion times on YouTube. Green cofounded a number of other small businesses, including DFTBA.com, which helps online creators make money by selling cool stuff to their communities; and VidCon, the world's largest conference for the online video community. In 2017, VidCon drew more than forty thousand attendees across three events in Anaheim, Amsterdam, and Australia. Hank and his brother, John, also started the Project for Awesome, which last year raised more than two million dollars for charities, including Save the Children and Partners in Health. Hank lives in Montana with his wife, son, and cat.





*Starred Review* Popular vlogger and science teacher Green makes an entertaining book debut in this fast-paced, witty first-contact novel. Late one night, April May, an unassuming but self-absorbed graphic designer, discovers a 10-foot-tall statue of a Transformer in samurai armor on a Manhattan sidewalk. She calls her friend to make a YouTube video of what she thinks is a spectacular piece of art, then becomes an instant internet celebrity when it is discovered there are 64 such statues in major cities all over the world. Social media explodes with support and conspiracy theories about the origins of the strange alien statues, and April finds herself at the vortex of their mystery. Where Ernest Cline used 1980s pop culture as a plot vehicle in Ready Player One (2011), Green uses mathematics, science, and classic rock references to energize April's journey of self-­discovery as she navigates her own relationships, fear-mongering enemies, and a press that feeds off endless speculation. At once funny, exciting, and a tad terrifying, this exploration of aliens and social-media culture is bound to have wide appeal to readers interested in either theme. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





A young graphic artist inspires worldwide hysteria when she accidentally makes first contact with an alien. Famous multimedia wunderkind Green is brother to that John Green, so no pressure or anything on his debut novel. Luckily, he applies wit, affection, and cultural intelligence to a comic sci-fi novel suitable for adults and mature teens. It's endearing how fully he occupies his narrator, a 20-something bi artist named April May who is wasting her youth slaving at a Manhattan startup. On her way home late one night, April encounters an armored humanoid figure, which turns out to be alien in nature—"And I don't mean alien like ‘weird,' " she says. She phones her videographer friend Andy Skampt, who posts on YouTube a funny introduction to the robot she dubs Carl. April's life is turned upside down when the video goes massively viral and immovable Carls appear in cities around the world. After they discover a complex riddle involving the Queen song "Don't Stop M e Now," the mystery becomes a quest for April; Andy; April's roommate/kind-of-sort-of girlfriend, Maya; a scientist named Miranda; and April's new assistant, Robin, to figure out what the Carls are doing here. "None of us older than twenty-five years old, cruising down Santa Monica Boulevard, planning our press strategy for the announcement of First Contact with a space alien," says April. April and her friends are amiable goofballs and drawn genuinely for their age and time. Meanwhile, the story bobs along on adolescent humor and otherworldly phenomena seeded with very real threats, not least among them a professional hater named Peter Petrawicki and his feral followers. Green is clearly interested in how social media moves the needle on our culture, and he uses April's fame, choices, and moral quandaries to reflect on the rending of social fabric. Fortunately, this entertaining ride isn't over yet, as a cliffhanger ending makes clear. A fun, contemporary adventure that car e s about who we are as humans, especially when faced with remarkable events. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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