Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Genre: Young-Adult, Contemporary
Published By: Speak
First Published: September 21, 2006
Source: Personal Purchase
19 Katherines and counting…
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.
After he gets dumped for the 19th time, Colin and his friend Hassan go on a road trip that leads them to Gutshot, Tennessee. Here Colin tries to escape his hurt and find his “Eureka Moment” (moment of insight) by creating a formula (The Theorem of Underlying Katherine) that will predict who on the relationship timeline will be the dumper and who will be the dumpee, and when it will occur.
After binge reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time, I was looking for a lighthearted read to ease my book mourning, (Seriously! LOTR gives me all the feels!) This book is just what I needed to come out of my mourning. However, I didn’t particularly care much for this book. There wasn’t anything wrong with the writing style and nothing exceptional about it; it was mediocre. So it’s not the writing style that’s tripping me up. The two exceptional things about this book are the footnotes (more on that later) and Colin.
Colin isn’t a typical teenager; he’s really smart. And the author really wants you to know this. Throughout the story one word stuck out to me: prodigy. And that’s for the simple reason of it appearing again and again. It appears when Hassan (his friend) is describing him, it appears when other characters are describing him and when Colin describes himself which starts to get obnoxious after, like, the third or fourth time.
What I do love about this book is the anagrams and footnotes. As a puzzle geeky I love anagrams cryptograms and anything to do with coding; I find it fascinating! So needless to say I was excited to find that the main character had a fetish for them and would share them in and out of the footnotes. The footnotes were brilliant! It gave you additional information and trivia of whatever topic was being discussed that I found (contrary to Hassan 🙂 )very interesting. It was a nice surprise.
On the Characters:
Another thing that bothered me was that I didn’t feel a strong connection between me and any of the characters. The only thing that I related to was Colin’s desire to matter in this world. I think we can all relate to that. But that’s basically it. Lindsey wasn’t a strong character (she wasn’t weak just not strong) and everyone else was just there to help the plot along. However, I did take a liking to Hassan. He accounts for most of the humor in the story. At times he literally made me laugh out loud! But that said, I wish the characters made me feel for them more.
Why the Rating:
Let me just say I love YA! I absolutely do. And I cannot tell you how much I love and respect John Green. (it would be a long rant 🙂 ) There, now that the disclaimer is out I can continue. When trying to decide the rating for this I kept going in between 2 and 1/2 stars and 3 stars and the reason behind this was I wanted it a higher rating merely because John Green wrote it. So I kept dissecting the book (no books were harmed in the making of this review) trying to find something, anything that would give it a higher rating. I realize what I was doing and stopped. I didn’t want to judge a book based on the author. I want to like or dislike a story based on the story. So I separated the fact that John Green wrote the book and came to the conclusion of 2 and 1/2 stars.
All in all I felt everything is mediocre. There wasn’t anything exceptional about the plot but there wasn’t anything wrong with it either. The character-reader connection wasn’t strong but wasn’t entirely non-existing. Everything that I didn’t like about this book was tied by what I did like. And so it only seems logical that this story gets a mediocre score from me: 2.5/5 . It didn’t “fail” me but didn’t excite me.
Quotes from the Book:
- “- but there was no denying her smile. That smile could end wars and cure cancer.”
- “We’re invisible. I’ve never been here with someone else. It’s different being invisible with someone.”
- “If people could see me the way I see myself – if they could live in my memories – would anyone, anyone, love me.”
- “I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than none.”