I added this one to my reading pile not only because I enjoy John Green’s writing, but because of the amazing video content John and his brother Hank have created together. I figure if Hank had tried his hand at writing, more amazing things would likely be on offer.
It took me a little while to get into An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. This is possibly because the writing feels so different to his brothers. (And why shouldn’t it?) Also firmly within the Young Adult Fiction world, Hank’s writing is a little darker than John’s, and a little less focussed around a mental health theme. So it took several chapters to find my rhythm here.
Hank imagines a world in which a series of robot-like statues magically appear. The statues are extra-terrestrial in origin, and inscrutable as to their purpose. Young April May finds the first late one night outside a Chipotle in New York. Stunned by the artistry, she quickly calls a friend and they post a YouTube video praising the artist for this surprise installation. She awakes to find herself an internet sensation, and the robots, which she has dubbed CARL, in every major city in the world.
What follows is April’s own story of fame as well as the world’s reaction to the Carls, with some hints as to the Carls’ own agenda.
April is an interesting character, flawed and honest about it. Unlikeable at times in ways that are quite different to his brother’s work. But nonetheless, I ended up enjoying this and would look forward to any more writing Hank Green decides to do.