Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines

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.

3 1/2 stars
addtogoodreads

Jenna

Comments

  1. I’ve been trying to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson for a couple of years now but I keep getting bored and putting it down. I would like to give TFioS a shot, hopefully with better results.

    • I’ve avoided Will Grayson, Will Grayson because he co-wrote that one with David Levithan, who co-wrote Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist with Rachel Cohn. I couldn’t even finish Nick & Norah. It was terrible.

      TFioS movie comes out in June, so read it soon. My “favorite” actress from The Secret Life in the American Teenager stars, so you know I will be first in line.
      Jenna recently posted…Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John GreenMy Profile

  2. This was my first John Green book and I read it without really knowing it was by John Green haha. I didn’t care for it too much because it was kind of confusing and YES the math was so boring. TFioS really redeemed him for me. If you find another book by him you like-let me know! 🙂
    Alise recently posted…Chat Review: The Dream Thieves by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  3. Ahh, I haven’t read this yet! I bought it last September, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’ll probably read it this summer or I might do a ReadAThon thing with Lindsay where we just read all his books one month. That way I’ll get it done!

    Yeah, I think it takes a special type of reader (“special”) to read and love John Green’s slow writing. (I’m referring to Paper Towns here. Such a slow read, and yet I loved it at the end?) I think relating to the characters would be a big deal in liking his books.

    And I loved TFiOS, so xD

    Love this review though! Very short and concise but said what needed to be said. (:
    Tori @ YA Book Queens recently posted…Tori’s Review: Me Since You by Laura WiessMy Profile

  4. John Green is my all time favourite author. Seriously. I wish you enjoyed the book more 🙁 I don’t know if I want to read this one or not :/ Heard bad and some good feedback and can’t make up my mind.

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