BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing [The Carls, Book 1] by Hank Green [in Booklist]

Neither Green brother is untouched by fame. The elder is that John Green. Hank, famous already as half of YouTube’s multimillion-subscribed “Vlogbrothers,” ascends the bestsellers’ platform with this novel debut, in which he inarguably writes what he knows: social-media-fueled fame.

Audio seems an ideal format for Green’s media-savvy fans, and versatile Kristen Sieh effortlessly modulates the many personas of April May (yes, really). Post-college, she hasn’t quite matured out of teenage angst, but she has all the signs of young adult arrogance – at least as she manipulates presents her public persona. Walking home late in Manhattan, April notices a mysterious sculpture and coerces buddy Andy to join her in the wee hours to make a video about the behemoth she names “Carl.” By the time she wakes, the video’s gone viral, Carls have been discovered in every major international city, and April and Andy are the current “it” (non) couple.

Sieh expertly adapts to a growing cast, increasingly distanced as April’s roommate-lover, barely controlling the excitement as Berkeley scientist Miranda, tightly efficient as assistant Robin; she’s especially memorable as April’s wide-eyed Midwest parents, the totally-LA agent, their internet nemeses. Best surprise of all is Green’s final-chapter cameo as Andy – surely a setup promise of more to come.

Review: “Media,” Booklist Online, February 7, 2019

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2018


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