Book: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: September 21st, 2006
Date Started: May 9th, 2014
Date Finished: May 13th, 2014
Other Books Reviewed: Looking For Alaska, The Fault In Our Stars
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
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.
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.
With The Fault In Our Stars movie coming out soon, I wanted to give John Green’s books a chance. However, I didn’t want to dive into TFIOS right away, fall in love with it, and then be let down by his previous novels. I wanted to get a taste of his novels before I read TFIOS, and I have to say, I am not disappointed at all. I have been wanting to read An Abundance of Katherines since I was about 17 or so when the book came out. It only took me two years short of a decade to actually get around to reading it. (Did I just give my age away? 🙂 ) However, I wish that I had read it when I was a teenager, about to graduate highschool. I think this would have made a great transition read for me before I left for college.
An Abundance of Katherines is about a boy named Colin who is a Katherine serial dater. He has gone through 19 Katherines, and number 19 has just dumped him. Colin is also starting to believe that he is a washed-up prodigy. His parents have high hopes for his future, but Colin doesn’t believe he does anything significant with memorize facts. So his best friend, Hassan decides he needs to go on a road trip to take his mind off of things. They arrive at a town called Gutshot in Tennessee, and Colin’s outlook on life begins to change.
One reason that I believe that this would have been a great transition story from high school to college, was the fact that Colin had doubts about doing anything important in his life when he reached college. It can be very daunting when you graduate high school, and you’re suddenly wondering what you will do with your life, and whether you’ll succeed or not. However, this is also where I saw a problem with the story. Colin’s parents seem to be very involved in their son’s life, including all his academics and such, and many parents try to keep their kids on track to college in the fall. His parents seemed to let Colin go very easily, and I don’t think they would have liked their son staying in a random house in the sticks next to a factory that makes tampon strings. I have always had a problem with parents in many books. They just seem so dismissive and uninvolved in their children’s lives. I feel like a lot of authors do this because its easier for their main characters to do what they want, and thus develop the story a little smoother. When a main character makes a stupid mistake, I get more angry at the parents. Just like how I get angry at parents when children are obnoxious in stores. (Don’t even get me started on that!)
When I first heard of this book, I assumed that it was just going to be about a boy dating a string of girls named Katherine. I’m glad that it was about Colin changing his bad habits of serial dating girls named Katherine. You can really feel the character development, and Colin becomes a stronger character by the end of the book, instead of the help-me-i’ve-been-dumped whiny prodigy that you meet in the beginning.
After reading this book, I think I’ve become a John Green fan, and I look forward to reading more of his books. I also look forward to The Fault In Our Stars which due out in theaters next month!