Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Science Fiction
Pages: Print 352
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Author: Hank Green
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a printed copy that I purchased from Amazon. I also listened to an eAudiobook checked out from my local library using Libby by Overdrive. This review is no way tied to the library or the publisher.
The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., 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 armor–April and her 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–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.
Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.
“Basically, do your best to mock and deride their connection to and appreciation of you because, deep down, you dislike yourself enough that you cannot imagine anyone worthwhile actually wanting to be with you. I mean, if they like you, there must be something wrong with them, right?”
“Just because you can’t imagine something doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”
Let me start by saying that I loved all the books written by his brother John Green and only bought this book based on the assumption that he would be different. I usually don’t read a lot of science fiction books, but this one shook me to the core.
However, the book did start a bit slow and boring for me. It wasn’t until I started listening to the audiobook that it became interesting. There are so many complicated twists and turns in throughout the story, that there were points where I had to rewind and listen to a section again. The more I dived into the book, the more entertaining it became, and the more I started enjoying it. I liked the discussion of how people of today rely heavily on social media platforms to get news. The book is written as if the main character, April May, is telling her story from her perspective. April May tells her story to the reader by explaining every interaction between her and the Carl’s, every decision she made and even a bit of commentary of her choices, and a lot of self-reflection. It was a unique way to get into the mind of the main character and honestly watch her develop and understand her actions. April May is established as a sarcastic, self-obsessed, afraid, optimistic individual who later lets her selfishness consume her and the people around her. After her first encounter with Carl, she becomes the center of attention globally and her life changes dramatically. She now gets the attention she has always wanted, but in the wake of her being pushed into the media, she must decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for Carl. Throughout the remainder of the story, April May builds new friendships, new relationships, and a who community of enemies that could have an ulterior motive for her life. She also works hard to understand the purpose of the Carls, whether or not they are harmful, and whether or not she is special.
Hank Green did a phenomenal job with the writing of this book and the development of each character. The main character is developed as a strong female lead who has some serious identity issues but is seen as normal. The supporting characters each have their storylines developed around the main character without discrediting their worth in the plot. I enjoyed the humor, the relation to society today, and the discussion of the influence of social media. If you haven’t picked up this book, I highly recommend it.
To purchase your copy of this novel, visit the website at https://hankgreen.com for access to purchasing links
Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!
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