REVIEW: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

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About the Book

A Beautifully Foolish EndeavorTitle: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor

Author: Hank Green

Series: The Carls #2

Genre: YA Sci-Fi Contemporary

Pages: 452

Edition Read: Hardcover (library book)

Dates Read: December 13-30, 2022

Blurb: April May and the Carls are back in the much-anticipated sequel to Hank Green’s #1 New York Times bestselling debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.

The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that’s not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl’s path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.

Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension.

As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages; and more—which seem to suggest April may be very much alive. In the midst of the gang’s possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality.

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the bold and brilliant follow-up to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It’s a fast-paced adventure that is also a biting social commentary, asking hard, urgent questions. How will we live online? What powers over our lives are we giving away for free? Who has the right to change the world forever? And how do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?

Review

Y’all, this book was so trippy! There is no way for me to talk about this without there being spoilers for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, so you have been warned. You can read my review for that book here.

The first thing I liked was that we have multiple narrators for this one. In the first book, all we had was first person narration from April, but in this one, we have it from pretty much all of the main players: Maya, Miranda, Andy, April (yes, she’s back), and even . . . Carl. This book deals with some of the aftermath of the Carls disappearing and the access to the Dream going away from everyone’s minds. It also deals with the fallout from April’s death. There is still a lot of discourse surrounding what actually happened with all of that and, since there was a void to be filled, something else came along and did just that.

Hence the creation of Altus. If you’ve read Ready Player One, it’s similar to the Oasis but not as, well, human. This virtual reality technology can let you build whatever world you want and experience the experiences of other people. While this could be used for good purposes, of course it is not, and it is up to our plucky heroes (if you can call them that) to stop them.

What I’ve enjoyed about Hank Green’s writing is that his characters are very flawed and that makes them feel very realistic. April, both in the previous book and this one, is the protagonist but she’s also not always a particularly likable person. She lets fame and power get to her head, and while Andy got on her case about it in the first book, he has the same problems in this one. I also enjoyed Green’s not-so-subtle critique of allowing technology and social media take over your lives. While there are many benefits, it can also be extremely toxic to the point where you don’t have control over anything anymore. Especially if alien tech is involved.

This book was one of the weirdest things I think that I’ve read in a while, and I absolutely loved it.

GoodReads rating: 5 stars



Categories: Books I've Read

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