Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Publication Date: August 14, 2008
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Reviewed by: Angie Edwards
My rating: 4/5
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 washedup 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.
Since having seen so many positive reviews for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I have wanted to read a book written by him. Admittedly, I haven’t been brave enough to try TFIOS yet, as from the book description, it seems like a somewhat depressing read. Books about people dying from terminal illness are just too much heavy reading for me (although I’m also not saying I won’t read any such books). An Abundance of Katherines by the same author seemed liked a somewhat safer option; something closer to what I’m comfortable reading. However, as excited as I was to read a novel written by the much talked about John Green, I was slightly disappointed that An Abundance of Katherines didn’t exactly live up to my expectations. I was expecting to be seriously blown away, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me. It was a really good book though, it just lacked the wow.
Unless you’re an anagramming child prodigy desperate to become a genius, or a self-proclaimed non-terrorist overweight Arab with a wicked sense of humor, these two characters aren’t even minutely possible to relate to. Not in my experience, anyway. But still, they are exceptional characters that carry this story all the way through to a noteworthy ending that leaves you contemplating any previous relationships you’ve had that didn’t end well - for about five to ten minutes. The big question here is: if you had known beforehand exactly when your relationship with your love-interest was going to end, would you have done things differently? Many of us know what it’s like to be dumped (albeit probably not nineteen times), and that is one of the themes in AAoK, but certainly not the only one. This story, like its magnificently peculiar protagonists, consists of layer upon layer of topics that touch on various issues too numerous for me to list here. Every person who reads AAoK will – like one of its main protagonists, Colin - have a different Eureka moment by the time they turn the final page.
In many ways this novel by John Green was, for me, like any novel by Nicholas Sparks: enjoyable; I managed to finish it; but not sure if I would want to read any more of his books anytime soon. I was impressed by the clever writing and Green’s narrative and by the original and intelligent subject matter, but here and there Colin’s thoughts and introspections became a tedious rambling which barely held my interest. I understood that it was not only about being dumped or about being able to predict the outcome of future relationships, but also about Colin wanting to matter. It’s undoubtedly a story with depth, and I wholeheartedly agree that John Green is an astonishingly talented author. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that I’ll be reading more of his works, but at the same time I don’t think I’ll be first in line to purchase his next book. Nonetheless, I will recommend this book to everyone looking for an insightful read as this is a novel that without question can be appreciated for its ingenuity.
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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green has over 7 600 reviews on Goodreads. Read it here.
ABOUT the AUTHOR
John Green is the New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the co-author, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than a dozen languages.
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