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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

Excellent: 
  • The maths in the book
  • Colin's quirky behaviour 
Nasty:
  • Most of the characters
Interesting: The anagramming was fun and interesting
Rating: 2 stars

The Review

Colin Singleton likes girls named Katherine, who have dumped him 19 times. On a road trip, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has $10K, a trailing bloodthirsty hog, and a best friend riding shotgun. His Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability should predict any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally get him the girl.

I've only read two John Green novels in the past; Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. These books were so extremely good, that I convinced myself that this book would be too. Sadly it wasn't to be, for me. The first tip-off was when I read that Colin had dated 19 girls named Katherine.

Meet Colin. He's a 17 year old prodigy (mind you, prodigy is NOT to be confused with genius) who has been dumped 19 times. By girls named Katherine. He's had the last straw with Katherine the 19th, and is off on a road trip with his friend, Hassam. Before he knows it, he's Gutshot working over the summer with a girl called Lindsey, all while developing his Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. It should be a good summer.... right?

This book just didn't have the same sweetness and heartfeltness that all other John Green books have. I guess what I'm really trying to say, is that The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska were so good, mainly because they had themes that were full of importance. An Abundance of Katherines just was a book about a guy trying to get over a girl called Katherine, the 19th girl called Katherine that he had dated, and trying to find a place in the world. 

The main problem, all throughout this book, was that I disliked quite a few characters. They were mostly bland and unflavoursome. Take Colin for example. He had no personality and was very self-obsessed. It was painful, having to hear about his life, which centered around being a prodigy and Katherines. It felt like there was nothing else in his life. However, his behaviour at certain times, and h Hassam was the only character I enjoyed. He made me laugh at times, and he was quite multi-layered, in my opinion. His joking is what hides his hurt when he has been hurt. 

The plot was also rather obvious. It was obvious that Colin would break the cycle, stop dating a Katherine and start dating a girl with another name. It was obvious that TOC was going to cheat. Everything was really quite obvious. Even the realisation that Colin finally comes to at the end was obvious to the reader. 

However, despite its flaws, I really loved the mathematics involved in this book. As a self-professed lover of books, I'm also not afraid to admit that I love maths as well. Maths is definitive, and it's wonderful how solid, how fascinating it is! Reading through the maths in this book really piqued my interest, and I found it to be a highly delightful part of this novel.

In the end, I had large problems with the characters and the plot, which isn't a good thing. However, the maths more than made up for it, and Colin's quirky behaviour did pique my interest, which is why I'd rate this book a 2 stars out of 5.

Keep reading and loving books,

Geraldine

P.S. Here's a really good site (it's John Green's site; it's not just good, its bloody brilliant!) that has all of Green's responses to questions about books he's written. It is what partially motivated me to finish An Abundance of Katherines.
http://johngreenbooks.com/

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