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.
(Story synopsis from Goodreads.com)
My Goodreads rating: 3/5 Stars = “I liked it”
Once I had read The Fault in Our Stars, I was hooked on John Green as a writer. No doubt that The Fault in Our Stars has been one of the best books of his that I’ve read so far, but I want to keep reading all of his books. (I’m still waiting to read Paper Towns.) So far, besides The Fault in Our Stars, I’ve read Looking for Alaska (read my review of that book here) and now An Abundance of Katherines.
An Abundance of Katherines was an intriguing story told from the perspective of Colin, a teenager who is trying to escape the misery of yet another break-up with a Katherine. Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend, Hassan, with no true destination in sight. They find themselves in Gutshot, Tennessee where the boys find ways to “deal with” the places in life that they are in:
- Colin – Has now dated 19 Katherines (and to his recollection, each one has broken up with him), is a child prodigy who has not accomplished anything other than winning a game show no one watched, and can’t deal with the fact that he is not famous as he always dreamed he would be. So far his only comforts are his abilities to anagram and his best friend Hassan.
- Hassan – Decided to “take a year off” after graduating high school, but still has not plans to attend school, makes fun of himself and his “man boobs,” and his greatest ambition is to be able to watch Judge Judy each afternoon.
Overall, I thought the story was ok. I liked the book, but there were parts that could not hold my attention like Green’s other novels. I had a hard time connecting with Colin (I thought he spent a lot of time whining), and there really wasn’t the same emotional appeal that I had found with Green’s previous two novels I had read. Colin, Hassan, and even Lindsay, weren’t really challenged by difficulties in their lives other than typical teenage angsts. There were certainly humorous moments (see fight with “The Other Colin” and hog hunting) and I loved the inclusion of footnotes (a quirky touch by Green), but I would not be putting An Abundance of Katherines at the top of my favorite books by John Green despite his wonderful gift of writing.