Friday, 20 November 2015

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Paperback, 229 pages
Published October 16th 2008 by Speak (first published September 21st 2006)


"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, washedup 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."

My Review:

Colin Singleton is an interesting character but quite annoying at times. The majority of the book consists of him contemplating his own intelligence or girls names Katherine (whose names cannot be spelled Catherine, or Katie, or Katy or any other derivative of Katherine), who always seem to dump him. I found this book to be quite slow to get in to mostly due to Colin's self-absorption. His friend Hassan who goes with him on their road trip is much more entertaining. However, Colin does start to redeem himself as the book continues and he starts to pay attention to what other people think. I think it helps that he is away from his parents, who have told him how intelligent he is throughout his life.

On the plus side, I did learn some fun facts, like why shower curtains always seem to be drawn in towards the water from the shower. Apparently, the water from the shower creates a vortex, who knew?! However, the characters' frequent use of the word 'fug' instead of swearing definitely grated on me and there was far too much of a focus on maths (Colin is trying to create a theorem to explain his relationships with Katherines).

I think part of the trouble is that with every John Green book I read, I expect it to be as amazing as The Fault in Our Stars and none of his books (that I have read) have matched it yet. This was a good read but I found the main character too annoying to really enjoy it.

2.5 out of 5 for this one.

About the Author:

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.

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