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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

(The Carls #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  57,362 ratings  ·  10,136 reviews
The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three AM, 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 best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral vide
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Dutton
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  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing #1)

    Release date: Jul 30, 2019

    In his wildly entertaining debut novel, Hank Green—cocreator of Crash Course, Vlogbrothers, and SciShow—spins

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 15 copies available, 9674 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jul 18 - Aug 11, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

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    Average rating 4.02  · 
    Rating details
     ·  57,362 ratings  ·  10,136 reviews

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    Start your review of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1)
    chai ♡
    Fortunate happenstance has led to me reading this book with absolutely no prior knowledge to what it was about. I’ve just grown tired with John Green romanticizing the white heterosexual nerd’s quest for the perfect woman whom they win by using the longest most pretentious words possible, and I was very curious to read his brother’s work.

    Frankly, I expected to tumble into this book dissonant and harsh in my criticism—but what do you know...I actually really liked it. (If you look really closely,
    Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
    Oct 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: No one (Especially not fans of the vlog brothers)
    Recommended to Tucker by: Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
    Publisher: So Hank you want to write a book?
    Hank: Yes, my brother wrote a bunch which means that I can too!
    Publisher: What do you want it to be about.
    Hank: I want to write a book about aliens.
    Publisher: So like the 5th wave.
    Hank: Kind of but let's remove all the violent parts.
    Publisher: So like E.T.?
    Hank: The alien won't actually talk or interact with the humans. Oh, and he won't be a living thing. He'll just be a big hunk of metal but we'll call him an alien.
    Publisher: What about the main chara
    Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Original 2018 Review
    I'm honestly still in shock. I went into this book quite skeptically as this is Hank Green's debut coupled with the fact that I don't tend to gravitate towards sci-fi.
    This was such a whirlwind of a book! I didn't research this book before starting (which I'd recommend - just read it), so it took a little bit to get my footing in the story. After that, though WOW. Constant twists, turns, and a mystery that keeps unfolding. I simply had to keep reading to figure o
    Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    WOW! This was excellent! I honestly went into it very skeptical, but I am leaving this feeling super satisfied with every aspect of this story. I'm so happy that there's going to be a sequel, because that ending left me hanging! It was the ONLY thing I wasn't satisfied with.
    Christine Riccio
    Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    I just finished An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and it was great!! I had so much fun flying through this book. My booktalk will be coming later this week, I'm excited to discuss with yall!
    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
    This was actually a pretty interesting sci-fi!

    I'm always reluctant to read any book with a "youtube star" because it's usually badly done but since the author does videos himself everything turned out fine.

    It's a very interesting take on the whole "first contact with aliens" but also on social media.

    Would recommend.
    Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favourites
    OH MAN. What a dang read. Shoot peeps. This one hit me really hard. It was one of those books where the second I finished it all I wanted to do was read it again.

    So I will. Soon. And you should too.
    Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
    *I'm going to mull this over before I review/rate it because I've bounced around A LOT*
    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: favorites, queer
    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. This was SO. GOOD. SOOOOO GOOD. I love Hank so I was really worried that I wasn’t going to love it but WOW. What a phenomenal read. I need more NOW 😫
    Oct 04, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    Okay where is my crash course squad?
    Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: ya, i-own-it, 2018
    Meh. It had a really cool plot but I hated the writing style. And that ending made it even worse for me. I did not realize this would be part of a series when I picked it up so I was expecting a satisfying ending, and it did not deliver for me. Bummer.
    Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    April May is the snarky, relationship wrecking narrator who is unwittingly catapulted into the dizzying heights of international fame upon being the first to discover a randomly named “Carl”. Initially thought to be an art installation, the Carls prove to be considerably more than visually striking. April becomes addicted to being first and staying first within the media both social and otherwise. At first glance this seems like a Young Adult novel and it will excite this audience but there is a ...more
    Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Upon Announcement:


    After Reading:

    So I am giving this four stars for now, even though it is possible it is a 3/3.5-star book. I really loved everything it had to say and the way in which it said it, and I thought it was a highly original and well-written story, but I was confused and unimpressed by the ending. (That being said, given the premise of the book, I would like to point out the irony of this being easily my most-liked review ever.)

    What I did love about this story was its
    Cristina Monica
    This book has rekindled my interest in the Science Fiction genre which, after so many past disappointments, was not an easy thing to do. But feeling indifferent about this story was close to impossible, especially with a narrator like April May who enjoys speaking directly to the reader, thus encouraging us to feel involved in whatever happens. I was also rather curious about the ‘‘Carls,’’ these impressive and mysterious sculptures found everywhere around the world that no one can seem to be ab ...more
    Larry H
    Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
    It was 2:45 in the morning, and April May was walking home in New York City after a long night of working. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw it:

    "A ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor, its huge barrel chest lifted up to the sky a good four or five feet above my head. It just stood there in the middle of the sidewalk, full of energy and power. It looked like it might, at any moment, turn and fix that empty, regal stare on me. But instead it just stood there, silent and al
    C.G. Drews
    I obviously wanted to read this's Hank Green.. But I think I will just stick to the other brother of John for now oops. This style of story isn't really in my realm of interests, I confess. Adults/scifi? Hm. So possibly the book is just *not for me* but I was so confused and detached.

    Like April is an actual horrible person so why would I care about her? And she gets famous instantly for seeing a robot on a street and making a movie of it. This is BEFORE they think it's an alien. I
    Sol ~ TheBookishKing
    Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
    Buddy Read with Fellow Cardan the Furry Enthusiast

    "Carl is not a possible thing, and yet there he is, guarding the Chipotle, leading people to conclude that he was not created by humans."

    So ... just like I thought ... Trash.

    I went in to this with semi high hopes as everyone says that Hank Green is the Better Brother due to the fact that John just keeps putting out Not So Great Books. There was tons of hype around this book that I was gladly not involved in but I read this in favor of a frien
    Merphy Napier
    Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
    what I liked:
    - hank's writing
    - our unlikable (but totally realistic) MC
    - the social commentary was very well done
    - that ending!

    what I didn't love
    - I WISH people had reacted more to this statue phenomenon. At least checked them out to make sure they were safe (view spoiler) it just didn't seem like a very normal reaction
    - MORE SCI FI. I loved the sci fi elements and would have loved to take them up like five notches. I liked the social commentary,
    Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
    DNF @ 75%

    “Behold the field in which I grow my fucks. Lay thine eyes upon it and see that it is barren.”

    Me: *eagerly pre-ordered this book over a year ago*
    Me: *didn’t read it until my book-club picked it as BOM*
    Me: *Didn’t finish said book*
    Me: *Left an unfinished “It’s-not-you-it’s-me” review for over 9 months*

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    Honestly, this is not a bad book. It talks about the internet in a non-demonizing way. There’s discussion of fame, power dynamics, ethics vs celebrity and all this
    Raeleen Lemay
    Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: own, adult-fiction, 2019

    For the first half of this book, I found it to be a bit too crazy and silly for my liking, but it was enjoyable enough (and I was pretty intrigued by all of the mysteries) that it kept me interested. However, in the latter half of this book it suddenly got VERY INTENSE and by that point I was all in. I do think that it was perhaps a bit heavy-handed on the topic of fame and how it affects people, but ultimately the message was important so I’m gl
    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    Thanks to the Dutton team for sending me this book for review, and thanks to Hank Green for signing it beforehand. I can’t even believe that a book I loved this much has a note from one of my idols in the front about my YouTube channel. Fuck. This was so good.
    Melissa Rochelle
    Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
    I hate that people are calling this "young adult". It's not. Stop it with the inane labels that turn people off instead of bringing them in.

    The main character isn't even in high school OR college for that matter!

    This is a book for people that like to read quirky, pop-culture-filled, sci-fi-ish books -- those people might be 15 years old (and their parents don't mind them reading the occasional profanity). Maybe it's a late 20s human that also enjoys reading the novels of Ernest Cline, Robin Sl
    Taylor Ramirez
    Jan 23, 2018 marked it as nope
    "Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May..."

    April May

    Nope. Ya lost me.
    Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: read-in-english
    Actual rating: 3.75 🌟's

    I initially gave this book 5 stars, because I had such an amazing time reading it and was so incredibly surprised by Hank Green's writing talent. It's hard to believe that this is his debut novel! The writing style was super easy to read and the teenagers actually talked like teenagers. It's nice to know that there are authors out there, who don't insist on constantly using stupid slang to get someones youth across.

    I found the characters to be lovable and realistic, but w
    Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020, 2018, sci-fi, botm

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to work part-time for a company Hank Green owns. I bought this book for myself, however, with a preorder that predated the job.

    4.5 stars

    Why you may not like this book: This is a sci-fi book that is character driven and focused so that the sci-fi element, and ultimately the mystery of the story, takes more of a back seat. This has a very strong conversational tone. April May's voice as a person very much informs how this story is told, and that sort of cha
    Mary S. R.
    5 ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE STARS! the most common pun, I know, I'm sorry—well, no, I'm not; because it's true.
    “Even on this most terrible of days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human.”
    This book matters to me because, I guess, I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.
    Not just a book that dares take on an idea this grand and important, or a book that doesn't just bring aliens into the story for destruction or vibes but for something like th
    Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
    Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

    “Even on this most terrible days, even when the worst of us are all we can think of, I am proud to be a human.”

    🌟 One of the worst thing people can do and specially parents is comparing brothers/ sisters. Because Everybody is a genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid

    *drowning in deepness*

    🌟 The reason I am saying this is that I don’t like Jo
    Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Cute and energetic, a miss for me, but I'm about to tell anyone to avoid it.
    This was like a weird mix between READY PLAYER ONE, SIGNS and TASH HEARTS TOLSTOY. I feel like this is going to be one of those books that stays in my head for a while, rolls around a bit in tar, feathers, gum, jelly (see what I did there?) and muddy about until I figure out exactly how I feel about it. So this review might be a little rambley and will probably change.

    Admittedly, I picked up this book because it was written by Hank Green, John Green's brother and youtuber extraordinaire. That sa
    2.5, and I can't decide if I'm rounding up or down and have flipflopped like three times, but down because of all the memes.

    *insert very large shrug here*

    I hate the phrase "millennial humor" -- but I think that's what this book is. The sort of humor that fills tumblr to the brim. Where random phrases are CAPSLOCKED, and characters swear in new and interesting ways, and we throw memes around like confetti (including extremely dated ones, like "Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife" from freaking 2010).

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    Eclectic Readers: Episode 82: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing 1 5 Jun 10, 2020 07:46PM  
    Leander Readers: Final Thoughts - October 5 15 Dec 17, 2019 02:44PM  
    South Shore Readers: Discussion: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing 1 17 Nov 18, 2019 05:13PM  

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    Hank Green started making YouTube videos in 2007 with his brother, John. They thought it was a dumb idea, but it turned out well. He is now the CEO of Complexly, which produces SciShow, Crash Course and nearly a dozen other educational YouTube channels, prompting The Washington Post to name him "one of America's most popular science teachers." Green co-founded a number of other businesses, includi ...more

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