Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Posted 21 March, 2012 by Amanda / 34 Comments

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: paperback
Read: 2/11/2012 — 2/13/2012
In Six Words: A hilarious introduction to John Green!

John Green — Website | Twitter
Amazon — Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
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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.
-from Goodreads

Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict

After the John Green week in January, I decided that I needed to check out a John Green book for myself, despite the fact that his books don’t really seem to fit into my “normal” genres. So many people adore, and have praised his books, so I admit that I was intrigued. I have no idea why I chose An Abundance of Katherines for my first John Green book. I mean, I’m pretty sure that there was a reason, I just don’t remember it now. It doesn’t really matter, though, because I enjoyed An Abundance of Katherines and will definitely be picking up more books by John Green in the future.

My Thoughts

Most people who know me, know that I adore quirky characters. If you have read An Abundance of Katherines, then you have concluded the obvious: I enjoyed this book, as it is filled to the brim with quirk. It is the type of quirk that you want hold close to you and giggle over its quirkiness. An Abundance of Katherines has that smart humor that makes you feel smarter for reading it, yet the pages are overrun with the stupid humor of boys, so that the story becomes a mixture of the two, like a mature look at the immaturity of young love.

Also, there are footnotes. Footnotes, especially the way John Green writes them, are fun.

There is a good amount of math in this book, which makes me want to recommend it to the guys I know who are into math, but it’s not necessary to be a mathlete to read and understand this book (I know I am certainly not). The math lends credibility to Colin’s prodigy status — probably because if it’s too much for my brain to process, then it must require someone smart to do it, right? Colin also anagrams, which thrilled my inner language nerd. Colin was a decent enough MC, but for me, Hassan — and their friendship — really stole the show.

The interactions between Hassan and Colin had me quoting the book to my boyfriend (something I normally never do). As someone who has some experience with the Islamic culture, I thought that Hassan was a good representation of what it might be like to be caught between Islamic and American values. And, quite frankly, Hassan is disgustingly hilarious. I mean, he does refer to his penis as Thunderstick, after all. And though he doesn’t tip-toe around or coddle Colin, there is an obvious bond between the two. Hassan forces Colin to get out after the break-up with K-19, he keeps Colin aware of what is appropriate conversation material (not interesting!), and takes it upon himself to point out what is wrong with Colin’s life (though if it goes too far, the safe word is “Dingleberries”)


And if those two aren’t enough for you, An Abundance of Katherine is full of adventure, road-tripping, and finding yourself. If I had to say anything negative, it would be that the ending was somewhat predictable, but even that isn’t enough to dim the charm of this book. And I must admit that An Abundance of Katherines is not a book I would have picked out on my own. I’m not a contemporary reader, so this was a fun and new experience for me. John Green’s writing style carried me through this book, and the quirk of the characters was enough to keep me thoroughly entertained.

An Abundance of Katherines is a book that I would happily recommend — not just to teens, but to adults as well, especially those who like their books humorous.

Filed under: Contemporary, ESR: 8, Review: Amanda, YA,


34 Responses to “Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green”

  1. Sounds fun! I’ve only read the one John Green book (I’m sure you can guess which) and this one looks like it will be completely different! Except for the humor… he writes humor really well. I mean, when you’re bawling your eyes out and he still manages to make you laugh… that takes talent.

    Definitely adding to my list!

  2. I have a huge author crush on John Green! I had the pleasure of meeting him in person quite a few times. He is just as charming, funny, smart and sweet just as his online persona. I loved all of his books, but each with a different reason. I love the fact that he can write about smart and quirky teens without feeling he has to dumb them down. So glad you enjoyed this one and I hope you pick up his other books too. :)

  3. I am getting around to The Fault in the Stars book, but just need a sunmy day first. This sounds like the perfect intro book for this author. I love books, especially stupid boy humor., A Thu de
    A Thundersticl?! I am definitely going to read this one. Thanks A,amda!

  4. Ooh you drive a hard bargain on this whole “read John Green, Hannah” thing. If Amanda likes it.. surely Hannah will? :o

  5. Huh. I read Looking for Alaska some time ago, and wasn’t particularly impressed. I don’t remember it being humorous, either. I’m on the fence about whether or not to try anything else by John Green because, while people seem to be really into him right now (you in particular), I’m wondering if he may be THAT author for me. You know–the one that you don’t appreciate when everyone else is clamoring on about his awesomeness.

  6. Sarah

    Funny and quirky? Sold! I’ve heard good things about this rauthor but I’ve not really paid enough attention so I haven’t ead any of his books yet, this one’s going on my TBR pile.

  7. I have John Green’s newest waiting on my shelf (I hear it’s a cry book and I’m not quite ready to bawl at a book yet). Love the man. He knows quirk like no other. And his characters are so well drawn, you can practically touch them.

  8. I’m not really sure about Green’s books. I started to read Looking for Alaska and wasn’t enjoying it so I don’t know if he will ever be an author that I read more from.

    Thanks for the great review, this book sounds a little more open for different types of readers instead of Looking for Alaska

  9. Ooooh, this sounds A M A Z I N G!

    Ok, confession: I’ve NEVER read a John Green book. I JUST got TFIOS, and I ordered Looking for Alaska on Monday after reading an AMAZING review. SO. EXCITED.

    Hmmm… now I want to run off to Book Depository and order this too :P

  10. I’m so glad you aren’t a John Green virgin any more. This was a fun read. I love the stupid boy humor mixed with intelligent references. I think the only one I haven’t read is Paper Towns. If you want to laugh a lot, read Will Grayson, Will Grayson. If you want a similar but a little more intelligent read than AK, read Looking for Alaska. And when you are ready for pure brillance of laughter, intelligence, boy humor and some crying read The Fault in Our Stars.

    Great Review Girl.