A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green

 


ABFE is the sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which explores ideas like being human, being social, social media, etc. If you have not read that book and do not want to read spoilers for that book, then you might want to stop reading now.

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Book 1 left us on a cliffhanger several months after April May was left crushed (literally) in a burning warehouse and presumed dead. We know, of course, that she didn't die because AART was narrated by her a few years removed from the events of the novel, but what we don't know is what happened in between... HOW did she survive? What happened to all the Carls? What about everyone else who was part of this adventure?

ABFE is told in alternating perspectives by ALL our favorite friends, explaining what they were up to in the months that followed the disappearance of April and the Carls:

  • Maya appears to be the only one in the group to truly believe that April is alive somewhere, and when the Som (the online community of Carl supporters and mystery solvers) starts talking about a rash of suspicious phenomena pointing to a small town in New Jersey, Maya heads out on a quest to investigate.
  • Andy has taken up April's mantle as a Social Media Personality, and is doing a pretty good job at it as well (with Robin's help), when he starts receiving mysterious advice about what to do, where to go, whom to talk to, and what to do with his money. All the advice seems to be steering him towards a specific investment that will take more than just his money.
  • Miranda has returned to Berkeley to continue her PhD work, but when an article about Peter Petrawicki (April's archnemesis) outlines some suspicious-sounding research being done at his new start-up, she decides she needs to find out for herself what's going on.

And that's about all I can summarize for you, because the story gets jaw-droppingly twisty, with a lot of scientific, economic, and other fields-of-study speak that I'm, well, not educated enough to describe for you, but it totally and completely blew my mind and left me wondering whether Hank Green is a Ravenclaw or a Slytherin. Book 1 was not a simple book by any means, but Book 2 just added so much MORE to think about, about technology, about the nature of humanity, equality, equity, communication, education, REALITY, etc., etc. Holy cow. I wanted to highlight so much. I want to reread the series now that I've finished both books and spend more time ruminating, because I was blitzing through these to find out what was happening. 

I can't say anything more because I don't want to spoil anything for you, but I will say that there were moments where I was fooled as a reader, there were moments where Hank Green recalled things that I had forgotten about that had me slapping my forehead, and there were moments where I genuinely yelled out "HA!" And he wrapped everything up quite beautifully. 

I give this five stars.

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