Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

One of my new years resolutions was to read more smart books, and since John Green is a fan favorite in these parts, I made my way once again into the young adult section of the library- Via:

When it comes to relationships, everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. He has dated–and been dumped by–19 Katherines. In the wake of The K-19 Debacle, Colin–an anagram-obsessed washed-up child prodigy–heads out on a road trip with his overweight, Judge Judy- loving friend Hassan. With 10,000 dollars in his pocket and a feral hog on his trail, Colin is on a mission to prove a mathematical theorem he hopes will predict the future of any relationship (and conceivably win the girl).

Is anyone surprised I loved it?  Much less heavy (i.e., no painful public hysterical tears) compared to The Fault in Our Stars, but just as funny and engaging as ever! And the math and footnotes. It was just a cool idea.

Originality: 10.  O a book about a teenage boy overcoming a relationship, on a road trip to find himself?  No, you havent read this, this is much better then that.  Satan Pigs, Pink Mansions and tampon string factories combined with mathematical functions which made my brain spin a bit. 

Absurdity: 4. Forget the tampon string factory, this book just feels REAL.

Paranormal Romance: 0/ Teen Romance: 7.  While this book is about all the Katherines, the Dumpers and the Dumpees, it is also about friends, parents, and the expectations and labels  we put upon ourselves.  So much more than romance (but there is implied kissing which was way better then the actual kissing).

Harry Potterness: 10.  Sigh, J Green you did it again.  Your interest with infinite, the future, and what we offer to that and what it means for the individual is very interesting.   I will continue to think on this for awhile, especially in context of the Fault of Our Stars, in my own personal book group in my mind:

 Q. What inspired you to write An Abundance of Katherines?
A. I’m really interested in why we are all so obsessed with mattering–why people in our historical moment are so fixated on fame and notoriety and leaving a legacy. (It says something the word “individual” did not take on its current meaning until the 18th century.) So that was part of it. Also, at some point in your adolescence you become aware that you are not quite so special as you’ve been led to believe, and this is a pretty difficult thing to reconcile, and I wanted to write about a young man who was experiencing that in the most extreme way possible.
This was a laughing rollicking story about friends and growing up, and I loved it.


  1. This sounds like my kind of story (sans the math, I'm soooo bad at math), because let's be honest, we've all struggled with the feeling of not being so special at one point or another. And I do love how Green is able to take this notion to the extreme and yet still manage to make it relevant, meaninful and utterly real. This is why he rocks.


  3. I'm reading Alaska at the moment, also in an attempt to read 'smarter' books. More Green to follow, then Mitchell's Black Swan Green :)


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