Title: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor
by Hank Green
Book Beginnings quote:
I've decided to stop lying to you.
ANDY: Jason and I set up encrypted chat because I was a high-profile target for hackers, and while I didn't think I did or said anything that could be damaging to myself or other people, the last decade was littered with people who had been wrong about that.
From the publisher: The Carls disappeared
the same way they appeared, in an instant. While the robots were on
Earth, they caused confusion and destruction with only their presence.
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, April’s
friends (Andy, Maya, and Miranda) are trying to find their footing in a post-Carl world... Just as it
is starting to seem like the gang may never learn the real story behind
the events that changed their lives forever, a series of clues
arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the
actions of their readers—all of which seems to suggest that April could
be very much alive.
In the beginning Andy thinks he is the only one to get a mysterious book which tells him to do specific things and knows stuff no one should know, like his need to use the restroom or what he is hungry for. Later he learns others, many others, also got books and eventually all of their stories will converge.When April's friends learn that Peter Petrawicki, April May's attacker and possible murderer has started a company called Altus which gives users the ability to go into the space and feel and think thoughts of others, they are all suspicious that it has something to do with the dream that the Carls brought to our planet. But they had to find out. Could Miranda go undercover and discover the truth? She had to try. But before she can report back her findings, Altus is released for the world to use and it changes everything, almost overnight. Now what?
Review: A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the second and final book in the Carls duology. It is an inventive series which is set in the near future and deals with issues we are and will likely have to confront about our use of technology. It picks up the action about six months after the action of the first book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. The book confronts hard questions with no easy answers:
Who has the right to change the world forever?
How will we live online?
How do we find comfort in an increasingly isolated world?
The book has five narrators: Andy, April May's best friend who has picked up the mantle since her death/disappearance; Maya, April's girl friend who is grieving the loss of her friend, yet doesn't believe that April is dead; Miranda, who contemplates going under-cover to discover what is happening in the new Altus space; and two others. So the story is told from many vantage points and from different locations. The book is very clear when the narrator shifts, so there is never any confusion on that score.
I listened to the audiobook of A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor with my daughter. It took us weeks to finish the book because we had to schedule times to be together alone to listen to it. I would not recommend this technique for listening to a book as exciting and as fast-moving as this one.
Hank Green, brother of John Green (A Fault in Our Stars author) is a fabulous writer. I enjoyed the book very much and his sense of humor, which came out in his writing. The end of the audiobook concluded with Hank Green interviewing Cory Doctorow, who has written extensively on Internet safety and how we can really get ourselves in trouble if we blindly stumble along giving away pieces of ourselves to companies who are trying to alter the choices and decisions we make about buying products. Anyone paying attention to the 2016 Presidential elections has probably heard how a company in England was hired to do just that about voting. They determined who was likely to vote for Clinton and then sent them negative messages repeatedly over different social media platforms, ultimately reducing the number of those voting for her. It is really scary stuff. The three questions that the book poses really need to be addressed by everyone.
Did I like the second book as much as the first? I am not sure. I read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing two years ago and had forgotten quite a few of the details. That left me scratching my head several times as those details were referred to in the this book. I guess my advice to readers---read them in rapid succession. But read them!
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Sounds intriguing--but complicated!ReplyDelete
I've heard of the first book in the series but didn't know about the sequel. I haven't read them, but they seem like interesting books. Great review!ReplyDelete
Five narrators and not confusing? That is very clever writing.ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to read this one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Lauren @ Always Me
I have this one on my Kindle and can't wait to get to it. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. This week I'm spotlighting The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix. Happy reading!ReplyDelete
The excerpts grabbed me...and I was intrigued by the blurb. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.ReplyDelete
I'm curious for more! Happy weekend!ReplyDelete
Great title and excerpts...and I love the concept of a duology.ReplyDelete
That opening line is the perfect hook. I am glad you have enjoyed this duology. I haven't read anything by Hank Green, but this series does sound like one I might like. I hope you have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
I'm intrigued by this one. That first line grabs your attention right away. Have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
I'm definitely curious about this one. That opening line really pulled me in. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)ReplyDelete
I was a big fan of the Vlog brothers early on and have read many of John's books, but have never tried Hank's. Guess I need to remedy that. Thank you!ReplyDelete