Review: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (#2) by Hank Green

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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 untimely death 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 up April’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.

I was a little concerned this second book wouldn’t live up to the first one. I read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing earlier this year and I absolutely fell in love with it and read it in one afternoon. However, I went into the first book with little to no expectation, and had much higher expectations. But as soon as I picked up this one I knew I was going to just fall in love with it. The narrative is so, so unique and I don’t think I will ever find a series quite like this one.

I had no idea where this series would go, but I love where we ended up. This is told from quite a few different points of view, but it really worked. I feel like multiple POV is hard to get right when there is more than just two, but this one got it just right. The chapters were quite short and I really didn’t want to put this one down. I constantly wanted to get to the next chapter and find out what was happening in different parts of the story.

You will always struggle with not feeling productive until you accept that your own joy can be something you produce.

I loved reading about these characters, who aren’t entirely likeable as such but I feel like these books really feel like you are inside their heads and relate very closely to them. Because the characters felt so familiar from the first book, I very smoothly dived into this one even though it’s been 6 months since I read the first book.

Without giving too much away about the plot, these books are kind of sci-fi contemporary, which makes it super intriguing and easy to read. This book follows the characters trying to find out more information about what happened to April-May at the end of book one, and also so much more. There are so many levels to these books and I found each of them easy to follow but equally intriguing.

It is not the only thing you will make, nor should it be, but it is something valuable and beautiful.

Overall, this series is just incredible and I couldn’t not rate this one 5 stars. I absolutely loved both books and I’m so glad I carried on with this series!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

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Goodreads | Waterstones

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 armour – 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, and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the centre 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.

This is the kind of book you have to take a deep breath after you finish it and try and pause for a while, just to make sure your brain can soak in all of that information. Honestly, it was just complete and utter genius. I had no idea what I would make of this book or even what it was really about. I did not expect the rollercoaster of a journey this book took me on at all, but I really, really loved it.

April is a bisexual twenty three year old art school graduate in an unsatisfactory job that means she works all hours of the day and night. One night, walking through New York City at 3am, she comes across a giant sculpture. After phoning her friend, they make a YouTube video about the sculpture, who they name Carl. The video goes viral and quickly makes April and Andy famous. April then has to navigate the world of fame, and is still caught up in the mystery of the Carls, after finding out there are 64 of them all over the world, and have been placed in very mysterious circumstances.

Just because someone has power over you doesn’t mean they’re going to use it to hurt you.

Just wow. I have no idea how to begin how to describe this wild ride of a book, but it is the kind of story that will blow your mind and make you see the world at just a slightly different angle. I’m so glad I picked it up as part of the 48 hour readathon I was taking part in, because it was very hard to put down. I was constantly craving the next part, and I needed to know the rest of the story. It’s not often I finish a book and feel like I immediately need the next one, but I really do want the next book in the series right now.

I also ended up really liking the character of April. This was another unexpected factor, as April’s character is written to be unlikable. She makes so many questionable decisions and mistakes. But she is human, and she is real, and I kind of loved her. The way this narrative is written is so unique, and I think it’s what made me appreciate April for who she was. I also really appreciated the cast of characters that surrounded April, who were diverse and great in their own rights.

Hank Green really opens up so, so many conversations with this book. Topics on and off the world we know, about fame and social media, but also about control and human nature. It made the story so compelling, interesting and truly like nothing else I have ever read. It was super nerdy but also so amazingly clever.

People who believe that tend to either be: People who have been victims of that sort of behavior, or . . .People who, if given power, will use it to hurt you.

This was so witty, fun, entertaining but also had heavy topics interwoven throughout. It was such an entertaining and riveting read and I’ll be recommending it to many people!

★★★★★
5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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