Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
by Green, Hank

"The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that's not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimelydeath of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl's path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories. Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked upApril's mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone's comprehension. As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive-mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages;and more-which seem to suggest April may be very much alive. In the midst of the gang's possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality. A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the bold and brilliant follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It's a fast-paced adventure that is also a biting social commentary, asking hard, urgent questions. How will we live online? What powers over our lives are we giving away for free? Who has the right to change the world forever? And how do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?"-

Hank Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. He's also 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. Hank and his brother, John, are also raising money to dramatically and systematically improve maternal health care in Sierra Leone, where, if trends continue, one in seventeen women will die in childbirth. You can join them at

*Starred Review* An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (2018) ended with the question of whether protagonist April May was dead or not. The answer is somewhere in-between as Green picks up where that story left off, describing a world that has just been rocked by the appearance and disappearance of the extraterrestrial "Carls." April, narrating from an unknown location, explains that her friends Andy, Maya, and Miranda must fill in where she cannot. The narrative then splits into different perspectives as April's friends mourn their loss while trying to move forward. Andy follows the trail of a mysterious book that can seemingly predict the future, Maya searches for answers regarding pervasive internet outages in New Jersey, and Miranda joins a supersecret research project headed up by April's nemesis, Peter Petrawicki. What follows as these disparate threads converge is a raucous, boldly inventive tale of alien technology, social media and influencers, the limits of the human mind, and the lengths humans will go to get what they want. Even after a satisfying ending, readers will have much to think about. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

A circuitous sequel explaining all the weird things that happened in Green's An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (2018). To recap: Spunky April May and her best pal, Andy Skampt, discovered an alien robot she named Carl, the first of many to appear around the globe. They roped in April's ex Maya, a scientist named Miranda, and a few other like-minded folks to investigate the phenomenon while a professional troll named Peter Petrawicki caused trouble for now-famous April, leading to her apparent death by explosion. Unlike its predecessor, this sequel is narrated by a variety of April's crew members until our hero is miraculously and inevitably resurrected, albeit with some very strange upgrades. It's still pretty entertaining, but Green practically bends over backward to reverse-engineer his oddball scenario so it finally makes sense. The Carls created a planet-spanning reverie, one which Peter is trying to re-create from a secret lab on a remote island, soon infiltrated by Miranda. Andy is delivered a MacGuffin in a magic volume called The Book of Good Times that can not only instruct him and his comrades on how to proceed, but also reads his thoughts and responds. His job is to infiltrate "The Thread," a mysterious cabal seeking to manipulate a world forever changed by the Carls. To shorten a Blues Brothers–esque quote without spoiling things, Team April has millions of dollars, a huge online audience, virtually unlimited resources and access to the things they need, a lead with brand new superpowers and...a monkey? A really powerful sentient monkey who turns out to be not an alien but of a Byzantine earthly origin and who also happens to be at war with a doppelgänger that might just be the end of us all. Green's debut was a better novel with a wildly intriguing setup, so it's not surprising that getting things wrapped up is a bit of a twisty affair. A satisfying sequel with likable characters, playful humor, and a prescient sense of the foolishness of modern life. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

I&;ve decided to stop lying to you.
As far as I can tell there are only three kinds of lies: the kind you don&;t want to get caught telling, the kind you don&;t  care if you  get caught telling, and the kind you can&;t get caught telling. Let&;s go through them one by one.
1.      The kind you don&;t want to get caught telling. This is just your average, everyday lie, whether you&;re late for work or did a real bad murder. Getting caught in the lie, thus, is a problem.
2.      The kind you don&;t care if you get caught telling. This  kind of lie is about the lying, not about the outcome. You repeat the lie, stick to the lie, change the lie, re&;form the lie, abandon the lie, come back to the lie. The lying might help avoid some negative outcome, but really it&;s a tool for weakening reality, and thus strengthening yourself.
3.      The kind you can&;t get caught telling. This happens when only you know the truth. This is the kind of lie I&;ve been telling.
For years now, that last kind of lie has felt, to me, like a kindness. I mean, it&;s not a surprise that the story of your reality is incomplete. We  all know that. Scientists don&;t  know where most of the matter is. I don&;t know what it&;s like to live in Yemen. Our imagining of the world isn&;t fully accurate. But if you know something no one else knows, something that would change everyone&;s story overnight, something that would make everyone else&;s life worse, telling the truth might seem like the wrong thing to do, like exercising too much power. As I have discovered, there&;s nothing special about me, nothing  that makes me particularly suited to making that kind of decision for an entire planet of people. The only reason I get to make it, it turns out, is ugly, vulgar luck.

A lot of people have said that I have a habit of exercising too much power, and one of those people is me, which is why I am about to do something I&;m extremely uncomfortable with: let other people tell the story. Oh, to be clear, I don&;t have any choice. I wasn&;t there for a lot of this, so it isn&;t my story to tell. Instead, my friends are going to tell it with me. Maybe that way we can share some of the responsibility of the power of this truth. It won&;t be all on me: each of us have to agree that the words in this book are worth putting in here. Trust me, it wasn&;t easy, these people can be fucking stubborn.

All of this is to say, I&;ve decided to stop lying to you. We have decided to stop lying to you. Even though the lie is easy to tell, even though I never really said it out loud, even though the lie, most days, feels like nothing more than self&;preservation, it&;s time to tell you about the lie.

Here it is, in its most basic form: I have been doing everything I can to convince you that we are safe.
We&;re not.

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