Monday, April 13, 2009

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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, washedup 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.

My first thought after finishing this novel was "What a hilarious book!" Seriously, this was probably one of the if not the funniest novels I've ever read. I found myself laughing out loud countless times. However, some of the humor was on the crude side and there was some vulgar language so I wouldn't pass this to your twelve year old sister after reading it.

When Colin's girlfriend, Katherine XIX (yes, he'd had nineteen girlfriends, all with the name Katherine) ends their relationship, Colin is heartbroken. So the next logical move is to go on a road trip, of course. Colin and his best friend end up in Gutshot, a small town in Tennessee, by chance. They're offered summer jobs, so they opt to stay and see what the town has to offer them.

By the end of the summer, Colin has successfully gotten over Katherine XIX, fallen in love with someone else, and learned some important lessons along the way.

It was realistic, but then again it wasn't. I can see going on a road trip to take your mind off of getting dumped. But boarding with a random woman you just met (in a pink house, no less) - not so much. Everyone will be able to relate to Colin's need to matter.

If you like math, like reeeally like math, I'd definitely say that this book is for you. There are lots of mathematical and statistical references to look at. Even some graphs and diagrams!

However, even if you hate math as much as my mom hates giving me money for books (or anything else for that matter), you will still be able to relate to Colin and find humor in his antics. Most of the math-related stuff is contained either in footnotess or in the appendix so they're easy to overlook.

Colin was a great character. His child prodigy status doesn't get in the way of his likability or other good qualities. Hassan was also a good supporting character.

AAoK was very well-written and wholy satisfying. While some may have trouble getting into it at first, by the middle you'll be hooked. It's the newest addition to my "must-read" list. Even if you have to "put it in the freezer" for awhile, I highly recommend that all teens reading it all the way through at least once at some point.

5 out of 5 stars

Recommended if you:
-liked John Green's other novels
-like random/crazy/not very realistic stories
-like crude/dirty jokes & humor


  1. I HATE math and I loved this book! I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did! John Green is so fun, I just got Paper Towns and I can't wait to read it! :)

  2. Oh, I really want to read this book! I love math and randomness :) I haven't read John Green, but looking for alaska is next on my TBR pile!

  3. I've always wanted to read this, but your reviews has made me want to read it even more now!
    This was a really great review too by the way! :) Thank you!