The Carls disappeared the same way they appeared, in an instant. While they were on Earth, they caused confusion and destruction without ever lifting a finger. Well, that’s not exactly true. Part of their maelstrom was the sudden viral fame and untimely death of April May: a young woman who stumbled into Carl’s path, giving them their name, becoming their advocate, and putting herself in the middle of an avalanche of conspiracy theories.
Months later, the world is as confused as ever. Andy has picked up April’s mantle of fame, speaking at conferences and online about the world post-Carl; Maya, ravaged by grief, begins to follow a string of mysteries that she is convinced will lead her to April; and Miranda infiltrates a new scientific operation . . . one that might have repercussions beyond anyone’s comprehension.
As they each get further down their own paths, a series of clues arrive—mysterious books that seem to predict the future and control the actions of their readers; unexplained internet outages; and more—which seem to suggest April may be very much 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 going to start by saying that if you haven’t read An Absolutely Remarkable Thing to turn around and do that, because neither this book nor this review will make any sense to you unless you have. Not a sequel that can be enjoyed without having read the first book, sorry folks.
Happy April! I promise I don’t have any April Fools jokes planned for y’all, just some straight-up honest gushing about books.
You guys! Surprise endings or shocking plot twists is one of my absolute favorite things in a book. A big twist gives the book such a wonderful feeling of fun and excitement! A book without any big surprises often falls flat for me. I want a book that can keep me on my toes!
So, obviously, I had a really hard time with this theme because I couldn’t pick just one favorite! Here are some of the amazing contenders that I was thinking of:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (OMG THAT ENDING!!!!)
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (okay, I was 15, it was shocking at the time…)
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy (never saw his identity coming) Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (seriously, what even HAPPENED?!?!?!)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (if you tell me you saw the love interest coming, then I’m calling you a liar)
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green (maybe I would have been less surprise if I’d have known it was a series…)
In the end I went with a book that a) I’m sure I’ve never used for Calendar Girls before and b) I read before ANY of these books. And, if we’re being honest, it might be the book that MOST shocked the socks off me. Ever. So, without any further ado, my favorite book with a surprise ending is…
2018 has been such a great year for me for books! Probably my best reading year ever. In addition to setting a record for the most books I’ve ever read in a year (not counting the upper/elementary middle school years where I read a book a day), I read the most 5-star books I’ve ever read. Where last year’s Top 10 list had I think three 5-star books, this year there are nine. NINE!
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.