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.
Colin is a former child prodigy (but not a genius) who loves anagramming words and phrases. His biggest problem in life seems to be that he’s just been dumped by his nineteenth Katherine. You would think that, at some point in life, Colin would have realized that this Katherine thing just wasn’t working out for him, that maybe he could have tried out a Brittany or an Ashley. Instead he stuck with the Katherines and look where it got him: dumped and dumped and dumped. Colin’s a bit of a nerd, socially awkward, and kind of annoying, so it’s hard to understand how he managed to get NINETEEN girls to go out with him by the time he’s 18, although he is counting all the way back to second grade and, as he reveals late in the book as he recounts each Katherine, some of these “relationships” lasted mere hours.
Heartbroken by Katherine XIX, Colin takes a road trip with his best friend Hassan. They end up in Gutshot, Tennessee, a small town in the middle of nowhere, where they meet a girl named Lindsey. While staying with Lindsey and working for her mother, Colin comes up with the idea to develop a theorem to predict the future of a relationship. It’s complicated and boring — and I like math. I pretty much skimmed these parts.
As a main character, Colin’s a dud. Hassan and Lindsey are more interesting, and my favorite parts of book — their interviewing Gutshot residents for Lindsey’s mother — had very little to do with Colin himself. It could have been anyone interviewing people.
I also really liked the relationship between Hassan and Colin. Hassan’s a good friend — a better friend than Colin is to him — who’s stood by and watched Colin date and be dumped by the high school Katherines and mope about them, while Hassan, who’s overweight and Muslim, hasn’t had any girlfriends. Hassan has his flaws, but as a friend he’s supportive, caring, and funny. It’s fun to read about their bickering, Colin pushing Hassan to develop some ambition in life and just go to college already, and Hassan pushing Colin to back off. There’s a great scene where Hassan calls Colin his self-centeredness, and I think that’s the scene that made me really love Hassan.
This is the second John Green book I’ve read. I know he’s extremely popular, but I think that I just don’t get him. I didn’t think either of his books were amazing, and lest you recommend The Fault in Our Stars to me, that’s the other one I read. I liked An Abundance of Katherines better. I’m not giving up on Green yet, though. I’ll give him at least one more chance.