An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He’s also a washed up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin’s on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin’s hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere. Booklist

I’m not much in the mood for writing today, but I’ve been promising to share my thoughts on this book for weeks and quite frankly, I just wanna be done with it.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I did like this book, but it was my second YA book in a row about a teenage boy and his quest to find meaning in his life.  I am so ready to read about women that upon completion of An Abundance of Katherines, I made a beeline for The Birth House.  Nothing is less manly than a good old-fashioned birthing. 

Anyways, The book is about Colin, a child prodigy who has just been dumped by Katherine.  Actually, all his girlfriends have been named Katherine, and he has been dumped by every single one of them.

And yet, that’s what happened.  It didn’t seem willful at first-it was just a series of odd coincidences.  It just kept happening: he’d meet Katherine, and like her.  She’d like him back.  And then it would end.  And then, after it ceased being mere coincidence, it just became two streaks-one (dating Katherines) he wished to keep, and one (getting dumped by them) he wished to break.

So, what do you do when you just graduated from high school and you’ve just been dumped for the 19th time by 19 different girls all with the same name?  ROAD TRIP!!!!!!!!!!

Colin and his best friend Hassan hit the road, eventually landing in Gunshot Tennessee where they have lots of wacky mis-adventures.   For me the star of the book is not Colin but his friend Hassan.  He is  hilarious. He’s also a loyal and good friend. Here are a few other reasons Hassan was my favorite character in the book:

1.  For a portion of the story, he referred to himself as  Daddy. 

“Dude, do you have a match?” Colin asked, failing at whispering.

“Your Daddy is sleeping.”

“I know, but do you have a lighter or a match or something?”

“Daddy is trying really fugging hard to think of a not-terrifying reason why you’d wake Daddy up in the middle of the night to ask that fugging question…”

2.  He refers to his penis as the thunderstick.

3.  He is not afraid to tell Colin when he’s being an ass, which is essential in a best friend.

It was not the talk of theorems, ( I skimmed through these parts, I admit), but the funny exchanges, and the relationship between Colin and Hassan that really made me enjoy the book. 

I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

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2 Responses to “An Abundance of Katherines by John Green”

  1. I read this book about a month ago. I laughed in many places — almost all were scenes with Hassan. I hadn’t read a YA book in years, so I didn’t really know how to critique this; not much of a standard to measure against. I wondered if my teenage boy would read this — I concluded that there was no way he would, but I don’t know if teenage girls would like it and I suppose that is really the target audience. I skimmed the theorems as well, but I was interested to read in the author’s notes that all of the math was in fact plausible. I don’t know enough to know whether that is true or not, but what was in the book did seem presented in a manner that made it make sense.

  2. Cam – I thought the author’s notes were very interesting, especially since he said that HIS best friend was a child prodigy and he was more like Hassan. Maybe thats why Hassan was so likable. It was amazing that the theorems were palusible. I can’t even begin to try to understand that kind of math.

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