Book: An Abundance of Katherines
AUTHOR: John Green
MY RATING: ★ ★ (2/5)
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.
As a lover of John Green, it’s hard to admit that I found this book rather disappointing. Perhaps it is because I’ve read so much of his newer material, that to go back 9 years and read some of his earlier material is disappointing as I’ve already witnessed much of his growth as an author.
Green has such a delightful way of bringing his characters to life and making us love them. That fact still rings strong and true in An Abundance of Katherines. He has such an amazing talent at capturing the essence of the awkward teenager that all of us can relate to in some way. I particularly loved Colin and could sympathize with his need to make something more of himself. I found his interests in books, language, and anagrams to be interesting, and the footnotes Green adds were often a cute distraction from the text itself to learn a quick and useless fact.
That being said, I felt there wasn’t much in terms of character growth to progress the novel, and this is perhaps my biggest feud with the book itself. I can appreciate the eureka moment of coming to terms with the fact that the future is unpredictable, via theorem or otherwise, that we all inevitably have. But this great moment felt so insignificant to me in terms of the story. While I love the revelation that our lives are a series of memories and facts that we create ourselves by the choices we make, I feel like it was just thrown in haphazardly at the end to make sense of the text.
Perhaps it’s that I am reading something out of my age group, so it just doesn’t resonate with me as much. Regardless, I don’t think this is a book I’d heartily recommend.