Wednesday, September 14, 2011

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines
John Green
Published September 21, 2006 by Dutton Juvenile
Source: Purchased

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, washed-up 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.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska. - Goodreads

An Abundance of Katherines was my first foray into John Green land. I had high expectations for this book after all I have heard of John Green, and I hate to say that it didn't meet them and here's why:

The idea of a geeky child prodigy, Colin, having nineteen girlfriends all named Katherine is stretching the imagination a bit too much. It's fairly unbelievable that he knew that many Katherines in his short life, let along dated them all. Of course if that wasn't the case, Colin would have to think up something other than "The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability" for the name of his most important life's work.

Secondly, Colin, our main protagonist, isn't very likable at all. He is admittedly self-centered. needy, clingy, whiny, oh and apparently a genius. Therefore, I found myself not really caring about whether or not he got his happy ending. He was just too nerdy. Anagrams, math, speaking other languages; it was all too much to take crammed into this rather short book.

When I realized that Colin and Hassan where going on a road-trip at the beginning of this book, I was excited. Woo hoo, my first roadtrip book! The first place they stopped was to see Archduke Franz Ferdinand's grave site in, of all places, Gutshot, Tennessee. Sounds pretty cool. "I can't wait to find out all the cool things they see on this trip," I thought to myself. Until I kept on reading and they never went anywhere. They stayed in Tennessee. Not really a road-trip book in my estimation, but then again I have nothing to compare it to.

The shining light here is that I enjoyed the writing. It was light-hearted, conversational, and fresh. I enjoyed the realistic teenage conversations (except for the constant use of the word fug, fugged, and fugging, which while at first was cute, became extremely annoying). Even though I didn't care for this one, I'm not giving up on John Green.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard a lot about John Green too but haven't had a chance to read any of his books. Whenever I think child genius, Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory always comes to mind and while I think he is hilarious, reading about something from that point of view would be very annoying. I'd like to also know how someone that young could have 19 girlfriends and also for them to be called Catherine. How is that possible? An interesting premise nonetheless.


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