An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Published by: Penguin Books
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 07/07/2014
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 struggled with this one, I found that the book wasn’t really holding my attention and I struggled to push through. The main character is some quirky prodigy kid who gets dumped by girls named Katherines. He goes on about some non-sense theory who might help him predict future relationships. He is smart, loves anagrams, and uses words no other teenager has ever heard of. The book was also really predictable, I wasn’t too far in and I could already tell exactly how it was going to end. I also didn’t find it to be at all emotionally engaging as I did not feel emotionally connected to any of the characters.
One thing I have noticed about the characters John Green creates in his novels: they’re too quirky, they’re smart and they talk in quips. Nobody Talks like that in real life. At least not all the time. Most YA readers see John Green as the best author ever, but his books are not that unique and his characters are the same with a few minor tweaks. I just don’t get the hype.
Colin was the main reason I did not like this book. He was just so annoying and whiny and self-absorbed, and I just wanted to shake him and tell him to pull himself together. I understand his life wasn’t working out the way he wanted and that he felt like a “washed up child prodigy”, but he didn’t do anything about it. He just moaned about it, over and over again.
It was hard to feel sympathy for him. He didn’t try to change anything – all his failures with the Katherines didn’t surprise me, because he didn’t even attempt to look at what went wrong in a previous relationship and fix it in the present one. He just waltzed into the relationship and hoped it would all be good this time and didn’t try to learn from his mistakes. And not only that, but he was painfully boring.
Honestly, his personality was just dull. His constant anagramming got on my nerves and while the fact that he was extremely intelligent could have been interesting, he ruined it by always whining that no-one appreciated his intelligence, or he didn’t feel like he could be a genius anymore.
Overall, I just did not enjoy this book. It was trying too hard and I didn’t really like any of the characters. If you’re a huge John Green fan, maybe give it a go, otherwise I can’t recommend it.