An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (#1) by Hank Green

Published: 25th September 2018Goodreads badge
Pages: 343
Format: Paperback
Genre: Science Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★   ★ – 5 Stars

The Carls just appeared.

Roaming through New York City at three AM, twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship—like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armour—April and her best friend, Andy, make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day, April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world—from Beijing to Buenos Aires—and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the centre of an intense international media spotlight.

Seizing the opportunity to make her mark on the world, April now has to deal with the consequences her new particular brand of fame has on her relationships, her safety, and her own identity. And all eyes are on April to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

I waited a very long time for this book and it did not disappoint when it finally came. I was excited to see what Hank Green’s stories would be like given his love for science fiction as well as his internet experience and what I got was an absolutely remarkable story (I had to I’m sorry!).

Green pulls you along with intrigue and a casual writing style that you fall into comfortably. There’re also so many twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout that it’s hard to put it down for want of knowing what is happening next. The mystery of the Carls and their influence on the world plus April’s involvement and the impact it has on her life is so gripping and astounding it really shows the highs and low of internet fame.

You can certainly see Hank’s years of YouTube knowledge and experience coming through, also perhaps in part his experience of internet fame, maybe not to the extent shown in the book, but it feels like it stems from truth. I liked how we are shown the best and absolute worst of the internet and it never sounded exaggerated or unbelievable. Parts of this story also reminded me of Ready Player One which was delightful because I adore that book, but I think that’s just my mind seeing similarities.

I loved the complicated, flawed characters and their friendships and connections with one another. April’s friendship with Andy, as well as her relationship with her girlfriend, could be just as complicated and messy as the drama surrounding the Carls. Human nature is on show and the behaviour of society felt real and scary and the imperfectness of these characters was refreshing in a way.

The ending was the best kick in the guts you could ever want and because so much has happened you don’t even know how to process it. After going on this wild adventure and all that happens my mind pretty much short circuited when it finished and then the intense desire of not only wanting but needing the sequel kicked in.

You can purchase An Absolutely Remarkable Thing via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible

Book Bingo 2019 Update #1

BingoThe first four months of the year have passed, way too quickly for my liking but here we are. Now that May has arrived it’s time for the first update in my Book Bingo Challenge. This is inadvertently and definitely the year for reading the things I’ve been meaning to read for a super embarrassingly long time.

I am still not trying to make a line at the moment even though I am very close, I am more curious to find later that I’ve read something that will fit into a box. A small part of me though is keeping an eye out for suitable books that I can read that fall into my categories. It’s a complicated mash up of all the things which is working totally fine for me right now. In all honestly I’m just a little happy I am remembering to actively participate in my own bingo challenge this year.


Debut Author

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

I was so excited to read this story and Green did not disappoint. I love his complex ideas and the insight of the media and the internet community is something he is more than qualified to explore. With gripping writing and a wonderful science fiction aspect it is a wonderful story and I am so excited (and impatient) for the sequel.


Good Girl Stripped Bare by Tracey Spicer

A few years behind the fuss I’m glad I finally got to read this story. I listened to Tracey tell the story herself and from her voice it was interesting hearing her go through her life and career with all the challenges she’s faced. It is an eye opening story and one that it great to hear from someone inside the industry. It isn’t the most powerful book, but it does its best.

Set in Australia

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

This may be Harper’s best work yet. I loved her subtle connection to her other characters and this family oriented, complicated, isolated story was one I could not put down. I read from cover to cover in one sitting and loved every minute of it. There’s suspense, drama, emotions, and moral dilemmas. What more could you want?


Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina

I loved how Kwaymullina tells this story. It is profound, mystical, enlightening and a captivating story. The Aboriginal culture is celebrated and I loved how spirituality and practice of two different cultures come together. It’s a beautiful, harrowing story and draws you in.


On TBR For More Than Two Years

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus

Benedictus has captured Milne’s voice beautifully. There is a difference I will admit, but the heart is there, and it is clearly the best voice to carry on the story of Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin. The stories ring true to those from decades ago and you can picture Pooh vividly as well as all the friends we’ve come to know and love.


Movie Adaptation

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

This is a strange book that definitely appeals to some more than others. The movie is a decent adaptation and I would suggest if you didn’t like the book or haven’t gotten around to reading it, go for the film instead. It’s much more enjoyable with the good quirkiness kept in and the better parts of the story being included.

Non Human MC

Watership Down by Richard Adams

I have finally gotten around to reading this classic despite catching a few references over the years. A decent read and one that wasn’t as grand as I first thought, but dramatic all the same. There is a realism in the animals but there is also a logic and worldly knowledge.



The Wicked King

Holly Black has shown her master skills once more as we continue in this series. It is the perfect fantasy with magic, foreign lands, war, humans and a mess of all them combined. The magical world Black constructs is fascinating and filled with complicated drama to keep you always guessing and certainly eager for the story to never end.

A Classic

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Having known the general idea of the novel before starting I was surprised at the actual exploration of this dystopian world. I enjoyed the strangeness of the story and the fact we are never quite given any answers. I’m glad I can tick this book of my list at last.


An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

You may know Hank Green from his YouTube channel Vlogbrothers which he runs with his brother John Green; or from their podcast Dear Hank and John where they offer up dubious advice. Or you may know Hank from one of the numerous other projects he has created including Project For Awesome, SciShow, or Crash Course. You may not know however, that Hank has written a book.

I have to say, I am so excited for this book. I’m in a very weird “I Don’t Actually Know Hank, But I’m Still Very Proud Of Him” moment. I have been watching the Vlogbrothers videos for years and I have heard Hank mention before that he was working on a book and I am so, so excited that it’s finally here!

The book, entitled An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, was announced in September last year, but preorders have just begun which make it that much more real. It is a story about a girl called April May (which is the best name), an art student from New York City who finds herself at the centre of an international mystery. Hank tweeted about it saying, “It’s about a group of friends who accidentally become the most important people in the world. Or, at least, they would like you to think it was an accident.” It is also about dealing with fame and being an internet celebrity, something Hank knows a lot about. You can preorder from only a few places right now, no doubt some Australian stores will have the chance at preorder as it gets closer to the release date.

What I love about this is it’s an actual fictional novel by a YouTube star, not a memoir or some other book that isn’t all that interesting. Hank is a great reader as well and I always love hearing his recommendations. Many of his YouTube videos have been him discussing books or giving us a tour of his bookshelves. I’ve added Hyperion by Dan Simmons to my TBR list based purely on his enthusiasm in a couple of his videos (where he is so YOUNG !!).

There is no cover design just yet, but hopefully, it’s coming soon. The book is due to be published 25 September 2018.

You can find more information about the book at the following

Hank’s website

Hank’s YouTube video

Wikipedia page

New York Times

LA Times


You can preorder An Absolutely Remarkable Thing via the following

Amazon.comBarnes & Noble | iTunes

The Fun Side of Harry Potter

Now that the business side has been taken care of, it’s time to share the fun stuff. For twenty years people have been reading Harry Potter, watching Harry Potter, and being inspired by Harry Potter. There are a myriad of content that is related to the boy wizard and the wizarding world. There are comics, music, and so many wonderful discussions about the series you are spoilt for choice to expand your wizarding experience.


Harry Potter and Me

A Year in the Life

Oprah and JK Rowling

A Conversation Between JK Rowling and Steve Cloves


James War
James has written Harry Potter parodies including Hey Harry Potter (from Plain White Tees’ Hey There, Delilah) and Harry Potter (Before We Say Goodbye) (a rewrite of Train’s Soul Sister)

Hank Green
Half of the YouTubers Vlogbrothers, Hank started singing on the vlog regularly back in 2007 as part of song Wednesdays. One song he wrote was about his impatience at waiting for Deathly Hallows to be published. Titled Accio Deathly Hallows it quickly went viral and every year Hank would sing another Harry Potter song to celebrate. In a freakish turn of events he predicted a lot that was in Deathly Hallows which was mind blowing to discover. I highly recommend not only his Harry Potter songs, but all of Hank’s songs, they’re awesome. You can learn all about the song on the Nerdfighteria Wiki

Harry and the Potters
Since 2002 they’ve been performing nearly 800 shows in all sorts of places and all over the world. The band consists of brothers, Joe and Paul DeGeorge and they are a wizard rock band with many awesome Harry Potter songs. They are also co-founders of the charity organisation The Harry Potter Alliance.


My Life as a Background Slytherin

Emily creates hilarious comics about being a background student of Slytherin house. She also occasionally does comics for the other houses as well. I promise you will fall in love with them, even if you aren’t a Slytherin.


This artist posts comics on Tumblr about various Harry Potter events and behind the scenes moments. It’s not the only theme they do, but the Potter comics are wonderful. Buzzfeed has collated a few as an example, but there’s also a Facebook page where the comics are posted, but Tumblr lets you sift out the Potter specific ones.

Mike Hinson

Hinson is an illustrator who works as a Social Web Artist for Buzzfeed, and has a series of comics that looks at what Harry Potter would be like if they had modern technology (even though, as we know, technology doesn’t work at Hogwarts)

Buzzfeed has selected a few other comics as well. They’ve attributed the artist so you can use that as a starting point to find more funny comics. If you have a particular favourite Harry Potter comic I haven’t listed please let me know because I can never have enough.

Fun Stuff

A Very Potter Musical

This is an incredible show. It’s a fan made production and is a parody musical based on several of the Harry Potter novels. It was first performed in 2009 and is currently available to watch online. It produced two sequels: the first entitled A Very Potter Sequel in 2010, available online, and A Very Potter Senior Year in 2014 which you can watch here.

Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise

This simple video took the internet by storm when it was released ten years ago. It is still the best video ever and it will get stuck in your head for days afterwards. Potter Puppet Pals did a number of videos which you can find here. There’s also a dedicated YouTube Channel to the delightful puppet pals.


The Harry Potter tags on Tumblr are all kinds of wonderful. You get fan theories, headcanons and revelations as people highlight lesser known moments and relive the best bits. There are posts that make you laugh and posts that ruin your life. There’s also the awesome fan art that’s delightful as well.

Harry Potter Wiki

I just have to say, this thing is incredible. There are pages about anything and everything. There are references to minor characters and one off lines that have sparked whole pages about them. It’s a brilliant source of all kinds of Harry Potter information, backed up by book references and real world references. It’s fantastic.

Buzzfeed Posts

Behind the Scene Photos

Incredible Things About Going to Hogwarts

Things That Should Have Been Included in the Films

Buzzfeed’s Collation of Tumblr Posts

Harry Potter Tumblr Posts…”

That Will Make You Feel Feelings

To Make You Feel Better

That Made You Rethink Everything

Guaranteed To Make You Laugh

That Are Just Magical

That Prove They Have the Funniest Fans

100 Jokes to Get You Through the Day

That Will Make You Weep

That Are the Funniest

That Fans Showed Their True Colour