A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor Summary & Study Guide

Hank Green
This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor.
This section contains 1,219 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
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A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor Summary & Study Guide Description

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green.

The following version of this book was used to create this study guide: Green, Hank. A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor. Dutton, 2020.

Five months before the start of the novel, April May had become famous for discovering Carl, an alien statue that appeared in major cities around the world. She became a political pundit, publicly supporting Carl, which led to a group of people attempting to kill her by locking her in a burning building. Now, Maya, April’s ex-girlfriend missed her and did not believe she was really dead. She followed a series of mysteries posted on the Som, a social media community her friend Miranda created, to Wolton, New Jersey. Andy Skampt, April’s best friend who had become famous since her death, received a text from April. He found a book called The Book of Good Times, which instructed him not to tell anyone about it and predicted what Andy would do next. It told him to get a sandwich from Rebecca at Subway. He obeyed, then asked Rebecca, who went by Bex, out to see the show STOMP, after the book gave him tickets. Meanwhile, Miranda, a PhD student at Berkeley, learned that Peter Petrawicki, the man who led the Defender movement that caused April’s attempted murder, was working on a secret research project in Puerto Rico. Andy bought a stock after the book told him to do so and earned several million dollars within a few days.

In Wolton, Maya visited Cowtown for the farmer’s market. She wanted to buy an unusual rock from a vendor, but he refused to sell to her because she was black. She paid a woman to buy the rocks for her. Then, a man approached her and wanted to buy the rocks from her from an alternative reality game he was playing called Fish. Maya found the rock vendor digging through trash behind a hotel, where she later found The Book of Good Times. The book told her to leave Wolton and return in three weeks. Meanwhile, Andy went on another date with Bex and kissed her. He joined The Thread, an anonymous group of content creators led by One. Miranda applied for a junior scientist position at Peter’s lab, Altus. The company flew her out for an interview in Puerto Rico, but when she got on their private jet, her interviewer informed her that the lab was secretly located in Val Verde. Peter hired Miranda.

Three weeks later, Maya returned to Wolton and found April. April filled Maya in on what had happened to her in the past six months. Carl had saved April from the fire, but her body was in ruin. Carl rebuilt her body, replacing half her face, her left arm, and her legs. When she woke up, Carl explained to her that his purpose in life was to save humanity because it currently had a low probability of sustaining itself. April ran away after learning that Carl operated on her body and made her inhuman without her consent. She had new powers that allowed her to find information with her mind, which allowed her to locate Maya. April and Maya drove away together. A pair of cops pulled them over, but April revealed that they were off-duty and playing Fish. She tied them up and directed Maya to drive them to Warren, Vermont.

At Altus, Miranda was welcomed alongside two other new recruits, known as Sippy and Peanut. They experienced the Altus Space for the first time. Peanut felt an intense pain and could not enter the Space. Meanwhile, Andy competed to become one of the top fifty users who earned the most AltaCoin by the end of the week to gain access to the Premium Altus Space. In Vermont, April and Maya camped out in an isolated cabin. Then a man came to their door with a gun. Carl, in the form of a monkey, jumped on the man and he shot Maya. April healed her with her superhuman powers. Carl made April pass out to prevent her from killing the man. Maya drove them to a high school, where they hid for the weekend. Carl explained that when he decided to rebuild April, his brother communicated with him and wanted him to abandon his mission and let him take over. While Carl followed a set of rules based on humanity’s norms, his brother had no guidelines and was willing to kill. Carl’s brother would leave if Carl helped humanity increase their chances of self-sufficiency above 50% by getting April to destroy Altus. Meanwhile, Miranda found a way to send messages to her friends. Peter brought her to the server farm and showed her the Premium Altus Space, which allowed users to learn anything they wanted from other people’s experiences that Altus employees were mining from locals. Peter locked Miranda in the server farm to mine her experiences too.

Andy received a new copy of The Book of Good Times, which sent him to a vacant apartment. When he got there, he reunited with April, Maya, Carl, and Robin. They planned how to destroy Altus using their influence. Andy earned his way into the top 50 and gained access to the Premium Altus Space with help from One. Bex came over and slept with Andy. While Bex was asleep, Andy went into the Premium Altus Space. Bex was upset about this and left him. Meanwhile, Miranda noticed a tube of ChapStick appear in the cafeteria while she was eating lunch that then disappeared. This was a signal Carl sent her to help her realize that Peter had trapped her inside the Altus Space. That night, April filmed a video that revealed she was alive and posted it online.

As a part of their plan, April began to publicly speak out against Altus online, while Andy supported Altus. After 19 days, April, Maya, and Carl flew to Val Verde to confront Peter. In the Altus Space, Andy found a message Miranda left for him that explained how she was imprisoned. Andy planned to buy Altus from its investors using the $5 billion he had earned in stocks and AltaCoin, although this was only a fraction of Altus’ value. In Val Verde, April allowed Carl to inhabit her body to fight off Peter’s guards. Maya found and freed Miranda. Then Carl’s brother took control of Miranda’s body and attacked Maya. Carl freed Miranda from his brother’s hold, but then died. Peter confessed to April that he knew Altus was created by aliens, which Maya secretly recorded and sent to Andy to post online. Andy planned to have The Thread post the video, but found he was blocked from their channels. One revealed to Andy that he was Carl’s brother. Miranda figured out the way to destroy Altus was getting Peanut and Skippy to install a new Terms of Service update to the Altus Space that made all users experience body dislocation when they tried to enter. April posted a video of Peter’s confession and asked her viewers to donate $10 so that they could buy Altus and destroy it. They raised enough money to buy Altus and returned home victorious. Several months later, Andy, Miranda, Maya, and April’s lives returned to a new normal.

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