Thursday 7 February 2013

Book Review- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
 Author:  John Green
Series:  N/A
Published:  September 2006. Recently in UK, 10 May 2012
Length: 272 pages
Source: library
Other info: John Green has also written Looking for Alaska, Will Greyson Will Greyson, Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars. He is one half of the Vlogbrothers and generally awesome.
Summary : 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.

Review: Colin has had nineteen Katherines, nineteen girlfriends and has bene dumped nineteen times. After being dumped by Katherine XIX, his best friend Hassan decideds that the best thing to do is go on a roadtrip. They end up in a town in Tennessee, where there’s a girl called Lindsey. As their friendship grows, Colin’s hard at work. He’s got a theorum to prove-can variables be plugged into a formula to graph, and predict, any relationship?
I read Ppaer Towns and Looking For Alaska and thought that they were good, but not amazing. I am looking forwards to reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I love the Vlogbrothers videos. I read The Fault in our Stars and practiacally died from all the feels and beauty. Mixed reacitons to John Green.
An Abundance of Katherines starts quite well. Colin’s situation, that he’s been dumped many times by many girls with the same name, probably isn’t meant to be funny, because if it happened in real life it wouldn’t be,  but here it is.  It’s the kind of thing you’d expect from John and his crazy awesomeness.
Colin is a child progidy, who wants to be a genius. Therefore, he pushes himself a lot. I’m all for ambition, but I think Colin takes it a little to the extreme at times, coming across as egoistic, and annoying. He’s also a little bit whiny, which comes from his wanting to matter in the world. You do feel sorry for him a bit, but at times, I wanted to slap him.
Hassan is the general opposite. His sarcastic comments and livelyness is really nice. It’s also nice to see an Arab-American as a main character, something that should happen more on our white-centric bookshelves. Lindsey Lee Wells is cool. I’m not saying that just because she lives with her mother, Hollis, in a pink house. But I liked her personality, and she makes a good friend.
The setting is really vivid. The atsmosphere of Tennessee is really good (at least, I asusme it is. I’ve never been to Tennessee, or indeed any part of America. But the general atmosphere seems right for this book).
The plot...there wasn’t much of it. I couldn’t get into the storyline. There weren’t any stakes, and I didn’t see hwere it was meant to be going. It felt a bit like a cutout of a diary (except for it being in the third person) of a part of someone’s life, which is important to them, but not to the rest of us.
The maths is really complicated. I followered it to a point, but ended up thinking “it probably works”.  It’s nice seeing Colin’s dedication, and it comes to a nice, but not really epic  conclusion.
With the writing, the  prose isn’t that amazing. The shedload of factnotes are a differnt matter, rivalling the hilarity of Good Omens’ footnotes (something which I wasn’t sure was possible).

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a story where there’s not much happening, but a good story of friendship.


  1. I've never read anything by John Green. The premise sounds wacky (in a good way). Although you weren't totally enamored with this book, I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on it and on Green books in general.

  2. Ok, so first off, an Arab-American! That alone makes me want to read this book, even if the storyline IS kind of slow, or, er, absent. The characters all sound fantastic and I really love the concept, so i think I may just give this book a try. Especially because it's about time for me to pick up more John Green!

    Fantastic review, Nina! <3


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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