A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green
Published by Dutton on July 7th, 2020
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
“You are a story that you tell yourself, and even if it is not always accurate, it is who you are, and that is very important to you.”
I raved about An Absolutely Remarkable Thing to all my friends after I read it. And a few of them ended up loving it as well. So I had very high expectation for A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor.
Months later after the Carls disappeared and the untimely death of April May, the world is left as confused as ever. Andy picked up April’s mantle of fame; Maya begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation.
As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive, which seem to suggest April could be alive. In the midst of the gang’s possible reunion is a growing force, something that wants to capture our consciousness and even control our reality.
I’m upset that I didn’t love this book. I’m disappointed!
Overall, I am satisfied with the ending to the duology. But it was a journey just to get to the end.
I was bored for about 150 pages in the beginning. I thought it dragged a lot and I was only ever interested in Miranda’s chapters.
But it did pick up in the middle and I found myself more invested until the last page. But even then, I had so many questions and I was confused a lot of the time.
Just like with the first book, Green poses a lot of interesting questions that we must all deal with in real life. In fact, this book is perfect to read while we’re in the middle of a pandemic. It’s eerie how the issues in the book mirror what we’re currently dealing with in the world.
It’s no surprise that Green is able to get across biting social commentary in a way that’s easy to digest. He does that with his YouTube videos! He’s able to weave these urgent questions about how we live online, what powers we give away for free, who has the right to change the world forever, etc. into a novel. But I’ll admit, some of the dialogue is extremely preachy. And it gets old after awhile.
You will always struggle with not feeling productive until you accept that your own joy can be something you produce. It is not the only thing you will make, nor should it be, but it is something valuable and beautiful.
In my eyes, the main downside to this book were the characters. April underwent a complete 180 and everything I loved about her disappeared in this book.
I didn’t understand April’s motives in this book and she felt like a completely different character.
I also felt like there were so many plot holes and unanswered questions. It felt like Hank set up all these potentially amazing plot devices only to abandon them or give them weak answers.
Even with weak answers, I felt like I couldn’t make the connections that Green wanted us to make. There were a lot of info dump chapters that I wasn’t interested in. And those were mostly the Carl chapters.
I will be reading more of Green’s books in the future. I just think the first book in the duology is far superior than the sequel.