Friday, August 21, 2020


Rating: 5/5 stars

I didn't know what to expect going into this book, the sequel and conclusion to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, but it lived up to and surpassed all of my expectations. Easily one of the best books I've read all year. 

The story follows Andy, Miranda, Maya, Robin, and even April May after the events of the first book, which leaves us on a huge cliffhanger. This book picks up right where that one left off and everything spirals into craziness from there. The plot didn't go at all where I thought it was going to go, but I loved every minute of it. Now that the Carls are gone and the Dreams are no longer available, many people are left wanting more, and that leads one company to try to recreate the Dream for its users to re-experience it--for a price. 

One thing I love about Hank's books is that they focus so strongly on a central theme. The first one was about the effects of fame and social media, and this one is about how technology can be both a benefit and a huge detriment to society, but also how society banding together can create something great. I love the conversations and hidden meanings in these books. 

The characters were just how I remembered them, which I loved. Oftentimes in sequels, it can feel like the characters are not being themselves and it makes the story feel contrived and unrealistic, but that was luckily not the case here. I loved that we got to see more of Miranda and Maya specifically in this installment. The only weird character development was that with Carl. I won't say more so as not to spoil anything, but Carl was very different in this book than he was in the first book, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. . . . 

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is a very intellectual book and one that I absolutely loved. It involves technology, friendships, capitalism, video games, books, monkeys, social media, and lots of hijinks. I love this duology so much and I know it's one I'll be returning to in the future. It's so well-crafted and fun. 

A note on the audiobook: I read this book along to the audiobook, which is what I'd recommend. The audiobook is full-cast narration, which is awesome, especially since all the voice actors actually sound different so it's not hard to keep everyone straight, but also because this book has lots of interviews, social media posts, video transcripts, and dialogue formatted in a way that makes listening to it feel more real. I read along while listening because I wanted to see some of these non-prose sections with my eyes for enjoyment's sake but also for clarity's sake. Also, at the end of the audiobook, there's a special 45-minute conversation between Hank Green and fellow science-fiction author Cory Doctorow, only available in the audiobook version of this book. They have a really interesting conversation about writing techniques, social media, and the dark side of advertising, among other topics. I would highly recommend checking out the audiobook for this conversation alone because it was wonderful. 

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