Author: Hank Green
Genre: Science Fiction?
“An Absolutely Remarkable Thing,” follows April May, a walking collection of the worst millennial stereotypes, and her life after getting famous via a viral video. At some point there are also aliens, but that’s almost background to the actual story. In fact, for me the science fiction elements were the weakest part of the story. I was there to watch April May self destruct under the sauron-eque gaze of the public eye, and I was not disappointed.
The author does a shockingly good job of blending clear and coherent writing with the stream-of-conciseness, caps-lock-loving Tumblr style to produce something that is both readable and utterly true to April May herself. As you read the book and watch her stumble from one disaster to the next, you can’t help but think “Yeah, this is how she’d write.”
I loved this book, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s not particularly complicated, and the fact that the writing fits the protagonist’s voice necessarily precludes the possibility of beautiful prose. I think a lot of its draw comes from relating to the protagonist’s hunger for attention and affirmation; much of my fascination with the book came from the unsettling knowledge that I have it in me to behave exactly like April May. I’m not sure what still wanting to be famous after reading a cautionary tale about the devastating power of fame says about me; maybe if I wasn’t so busy reviewing books for imaginary points on social media I’d be able to figure it out.