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.
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.
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.