BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor [The Carls, Book 2] by Hank Green [in Booklist]

Yes, indubitably, you’ll need to first read/listen to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (2018) to fully appreciate April’s resurrection, why/how we’re not alone, the need to save humanity despite, well, humans. While Kristen Sieh helmed Hank Green’s bestselling debut almost solo – Green himself did a final-chapter (set-up for #2) cameo as best friend Andy – the highly anticipated sequel upgrades to a dozen-member seasoned full cast.

Kristen Sieh returns as April (grateful for continuity, yes!) and Green, too, does another cameo as podcaster Randall Bolt. Seven of the 12 get “with additional narration by”-nods, revealed with a much appreciated (too rare) “who’s who” at recording’s end. Joining Sieh’s April, the chapters rotate among her besties: Joe Hempel is a fine Andy, Jesse Vilinsky is vulnerably bad-ass as Miranda, Nicole Lewis is fiercely right as Maya, and Kevin R. Free does a buoyant Carl.

As with multi-voiced endeavors, occasional disconnects seem inevitable: for example, Free’s Carl tends toward jubilant teen, but Carl’s dialogue as recounted by others can range from three-pack-a-day-old-lady to overly cartoonish. Among the supporting voices, Robert Petkoff is especially affecting as arrogant sleaze Peter Petrawicki and Gabra Zackman never disappoints even when helming “just” news articles and tweets.

An audio-exclusive extra treat awaits aural groupies after 15 hours: Green and buddy Cory Doctorow riff about writing, social media, companies as nations, and more.

Review: “Media,” Booklist Online, August 28, 2020

Readers: Adult

Published: 2020


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