Review: An Abundance of Katherines

Title:  An Abundance of Katherines 

Author:  John Green

Publisher:  Dutton Books

Rating:  3/5

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.  

I found this review particularly hard to write, I just didn’t know how to put what I felt for this book into words.  But I tried, so here goes:

I love the intelligence with which all of John Green’s books are written and this one is no exception. But perhaps it was too intelligent.  At least for me.

An Abundance of Katherines just didn’t grip me.  In all honesty, it was kind of predictable and I knew the direction it was going to go.  Though I didn’t expect Hassan and Colin to end up in a small town in Tennessee.  I don’t know–I thought they’d end up back in Chicago after a couple of days on the road.

The rest, however, was just too predictable.  It’s not really a bad book, just not extremely interesting.

SPOILERS

I can’t relate to Colin at all.  He’s whiny, spoiled, and self-centered.  He spends his days obsessing about whether he’ll matter and why he can’t be a genius.  That alone really bothers me.

Then comes that thing about his obsession with girls named Katherine.  Anyone else think that’s strange?  How did that work? I know he said it was a coincidence but really? How many Katherines can there be in Chicago?

This leads me to his last night with K-19 just after they’d graduated.  They have a little squabble at the restaurant, and Colin starts to obsess about whether or not she still loves him.  Seriously Colin? He’s so obsessed with not being left behind, that he forgets to live.  That’s why I think they all dumped him.

Anyway, as soon as I found out Colin only dated Katherines and was in the process of writing mathematical equations to predict relationships, I knew what would happen.  He’d date someone who’s name wasn’t Katherine and figure out no relationship is predictable and each is unique.

And I was right.

Another issue I had with this book, aside from the predictability and Colin, was that nothing really interesting happened.  Colin’s moping about his latest failed relationship and he and Hassan go to a small town in Tennessee.  Colin try’s to plot relationships.  That’s it.

I did like Lindsey and Hassan.  They were good characters.

So, not a bad read entirely and I don’t regret reading it.

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