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The power of YouTube

Cover of An Absolutely Remarkable T
A review of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

How often are two siblings really good at the same thing? There’s Venus and Serena Williams, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the Bronte sisters... it’s not unheard of, but it’s not super common either. Anyway, after reading An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, I would definitely add John and Hank Green to the list of talented siblings. I’ve been a John Green fan for a long time and I knew that he and his brother Hank made great YouTube videos, but I didn’t have super high expectations for Hank’s debut novel. I figured, how likely is it that both brothers can really write? I should have known better - An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is actually quite remarkable.

Like many of his brother’s books, Hank’s novel follows a young person through a particularly hard time. However, while John Green’s books have all been geared towards teens, Hank’s novel is marketed for adults, though there’s certainly crossover appeal. Also unlike John’s books, Hank’s is not rooted firmly in reality. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing tells the story of April May, a 23-year old graphic designer who just happens to be the first person in the world to observe an international phenomenon: giant robotic-looking statues have suddenly appeared in cities all over the planet. April does what many young people would do in this situation - she makes a video and uploads it to YouTube - and her life is changed forever. I found the book to be every bit as enjoyable as one of John Green’s novels, with the added benefit of a sci-fi twist and some extra millennial humor. If you’re looking for a breezy, fun read to take your mind off the cold, I highly recommend picking this one up!

***Note: if the idea of giant robots suddenly appearing all over the Earth appeals to you, I also highly recommend Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and its sequels, Waking Gods and Only Human.

Nov 27, 2018