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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

(The Carls #1)

by
4.03  ·  Rating details ·  78,048 ratings  ·  12,921 reviews
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-
...more
Hardcover, 1st US edition, 343 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Dutton
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Jess Hank's confirmed the release date is on September 25, 2018! Pre-orders are live!!!…moreHank's confirmed the release date is on September 25, 2018! Pre-orders are live!!!(less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  78,048 ratings  ·  12,921 reviews


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chai ♡
April May, a twenty-three-year-old bisexual art-school grad languishing in a Manhattan startup, inadvertently makes first contact with an alien when she happens upon a ten-feet tall Transformers-like sculpture. She calls her YouTuber bestfriend Andy and together they upload a faux-serious interview with the statue which they dub Carl, with no way of knowing that the curtain is about to rise on a drama of their own invention when the video goes exponentially viral and many Carls materialize in ci ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Oct 31, 2018 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Zoë
Nov 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Original 2018 Review
4.5/5
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.
HOWEVER.
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
...more
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. ...more
Christine Riccio
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! ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
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.
...more
Ariel
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Re-read 3/25/21: I honestly think I loved this book even more the second time around???????? Hank is such a gem, wow

Original read 11/1/18: 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 😫
Maryam Rz.
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of speculative fiction and social commentary
When we hear robots or aliens, we first think of war and mass destruction. That right there is, to me, science fiction’s gravest, most unforgivable crime against understanding and progress—and Hank Green agrees.

“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.”



If I want to talk about about why An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is an absolutely remarkable work of fiction, blending First Encounter, thriller, mystery, and humour with
...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
*I'm going to mull this over before I review/rate it because I've bounced around A LOT* ...more
NReads
Oct 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
Okay where is my crash course squad?
Maxwell
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, owned
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.
Tammy
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
Haley
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Upon Announcement:

I CAN'T WAAAAIT!




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
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Merphy Napier
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,
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Sol ~ TheBookishKing
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
...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
HOLY. FUCK. WOW.

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.
Larry H
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
...more
Annemarie
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-english
Actual rating: 3.5 🌟'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 wa
...more
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*
Me:

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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
...more
Melissa Rochelle
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
...more
Gabby
I listened to this on audio and I wanted to love it so badly, but this book just wasn’t for me. I am super intrigued by the concept of this book, but the execution of it just fell so flat for me and I thought it was either really boring or really cringe-y, and the main character drove me nuts at some parts.

I also learned something about my reading taste, because I always thought I enjoyed reading about famous people dealing with fame, but I realized I don’t like stories that follow people that
...more
Taylor Ramirez
"Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May..."

April May

Nope. Ya lost me.
...more
Mari
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, 2018, botm, sci-fi


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
...more
Nadia
Dec 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, over-rated, sci-fi
I think it is fair to say that this book rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't buy into the story at all - finding an alien statue in the middle of NYC and becoming famous because you posted a video of it??

The main character, April May, is one of the least likeable characters I've ever come across. She tells us she is quirky, but that's not how she comes across. Instead of being quirky, she is full of herself and extremely selfish, always doing what SHE wants despite her friends begging her otherwis
...more
Hamad
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lori
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. ...more
Telthor
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).

A
...more
Kales
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
...more
Samantha
3.75 stars

I really enjoyed the audiobook version of this book, but it’s really hard to rate this as this duology is very obviously one whole story and should probably be read as such. But this first book was interesting enough to read but is not yet super memorable to me. What I did really love is how well done the discussion of internet fame and the use of platforms was, as you can tell Hank has experience with that. So many authors try to make their characters have that background but if you
...more
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8,010 followers
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

Other books in the series

The Carls (2 books)
  • A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2)

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November is the time for aspiring writers to get serious about writing that book! It's National Novel Writing Month, the annual event designed to...
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“Behold the field in which I grow my fucks. Lay thine eyes upon it and see that it is barren.” 229 likes
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People who, if given power, will use it to hurt you.”
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