Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 
Published: September 9th, 2006
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 229
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge
Other: NA
Buy the book: Bookdepository

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.
After reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Looking for Alaska, I was hungry for more books by John Green. Everyone is talking about how Alaska is his best book to date, but I disagrree. I liked Katherines more, even though they are quite close on my list.

John Green has this gift of writing a very intelligent novel, with very intelligent characters and somehow managing to not make you, as the reader, feel stupid. I've said it before, but I still think this is quite an accomplishment. Other authors would have lost me in the math equations and Colin's need for putting stuff into something needlessly difficult, but I was sucked into the story. I have to admit that I skimmed over some of the longer quations though - but only after I read John's footnote, telling me it was okay to not fully figure out all the math problems. Hey, I didn't want to miss out!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the footnotes. There were so many, but each one was either interesting or hilarious. I particularly enjoyed the one that explained what paardenlul means, since I am Dutch. They fitted so well with the story, both with the storyline as with Colin's need to make everything an anagram or theorem, and his huge knowledge of stuff normal people would never know, but he would because he read it *somewhere*. Colin was a tad hard to relate to for me, but I found him to be very well developed, an wonderfully made that he felt real. I had more of a connection with the other characters, either with Hassan and his jokes, or with Lindsey. I really liked her and I loved how she was involved in the story and Colin's need to prove theories of any size.

The dialogue was funny and very well written. Sometimes I'd notice that he writes his sentences really short, but it worked with the story and I absolutely loved reading it. For me, it was better than Alaska mainly because I didn't feel like I missed out on some closure one way or another. This story was complete. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm excited to pick up Paper Towns, which I will do before The Fault in our Stars releases in January.

My overall rating:

Four stars for Colin, Hassan and Lindsey - whose witty characters made me thoroughly enjoy The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability :)


  1. This actually sounds pretty good. Great review.

  2. I have never read anything by John Green! But your review makes me think I should rectify this immediately. I love the sound of this, and the footnotes thing is pretty cool

    The Cait Files

  3. I love John Green but only read Alaska and Paper Towns. For me Paper Towns is better than Alaska, but you know, I guess everyone has a different opinion.
    Glad you enjoyed this book, I think I might put this one on my Xmas list...


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