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Staff Reads: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

Sarah Childs

Staff Reads: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

by Sarah Childs

Fans of local Indiana author, John Green, may be familiar with the YouTube channel and podcast he produces with his brother, Hank Green. Hank is the organizer of VidCon (half of the Vlogbrothers), a musician, and the creator of Crash Course and Sci Show. Now Hank can add author to the extensive list of hats he wears as he released his debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, in September.  Readers would expect his books to target young adults, similar to the novels of his brother, John; and teens are a likely audience. However, Hank’s new book is primarily written for adults.

At the book’s September 2018 tour event held at Clowes Memorial Hall with both Green brothers, a question was posed to the brothers: how is Hank’s book different than John’s books? John replied that his books mostly involve two people in a room, doing a lot of talking, whereas in Hank’s book, “So many things happen!” The book is certainly plot driven, fast paced, and highly readable.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is about a young woman named April May who encounters a giant robot on the streets of New York and posts a video about it on YouTube. After she finds the robot, April learns that identical robots have appeared all over the world. Thanks to her video, she becomes known and associated with the robots worldwide. It’s an interesting exploration of the concept of celebrity and how fame affects people and relationships. Hank’s love of music is also in evidence as pop songs are referenced throughout and serve as an important point of connection.

Readers of The Sleeping Giants series or Ernest Cline books would likely enjoy this fast-paced, yet thoughtful first encounter story.