Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green Review

Author: John Green
Publisher: Speak Penguin Group
Release Date: September 21st, 2006
Format: Paperback
Buy the book on Amazon
272 pages

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.


My Review:

This cute, amusing book about a child prodigy named Colin who wishes to become a genius was a great read!  After getting dumped by 19 different girls named Katherine, the anagram-loving Colin decides that his road to becoming a genius lies in his mathematical theorem that can predict the outcome of all relationships.  Have no fear: for all the readers out there who abhor math, while the exact reasoning behind the theorem is explained, that part is mostly in the appendix and reading it is strictly optional!

When Katherine XIX, whom Colin still loves, dumps him before heading off to college, his best friend Hasan drags him on a road trip to help him get over her.  It is in Gunshot, Tennessee – while staying with a girl they met, Lindsey, and her mother Hollis in exchange for working to compile an oral history of their small town – where Colin finally develops The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability and tries to prove its validity.

One of the best parts of this book was the abundance of quirky dialogues between the nerdy Colin and the comical Hasan.  The two continually traded insults and quips, even creating a safe word, “dingleberries”, which meant that their insults had crossed a line and the offending friend needed to stop.  There was also a great deal of footnotes scattered throughout the book that often explained little unknown facts relating to the story, giving insights into the depth of Colin’s knowledge.  I loved Green’s writing style; his witty dialogues and Colin’s internal monologues kept me laughing the whole book.

Colin and Lindsey’s relationship, while it progressed a little quickly, was also fun to read about.  While Lindsey originally appears to be a pretty, cliquey girl who only cares about dating the most popular boy in school, it is revealed that beneath that pretense she has been hiding a smart young woman who cares deeply about those around her.  Similarly, Colin’s obsession with becoming a genius stems from his insecurities about amounting to nothing and just being another failed prodigy.  Lindsey and Colin balance each other out perfectly, and it was enjoyable to see their relationship develop.

One of the many reasons why I loved Green’s writing was because of the little details he added in the book that made it that much more interesting to read; for instance, while Colin only dates girls named Katherine, for most of the book Lindsey was dating a boy named Colin (whom Colin and Hasan call TOC, The Other Colin).  Definitely check this book out if you are interested in a short, fun read!

My Rating:

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