Sunday, April 5, 2015

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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.

My thoughts:
I will admit that this book started out slow. I dragged through the first few chapters before I got into it. The idea of a road trip didn't excite me, nor did the idea of our protagonist being depressed because his girlfriend broke up with him. But then Colin and Hassan arrived in middle-of-nowhere Tennessee and met some people and life got more entertaining.

I totally understood the backwoods Southern thing; Been there. And it's just entertaining reading about backwoods Southern people. They're ridiculous.

I actually really liked Colin. A lot of reviewers found him annoying because of his quirky geniusness. He had a habit of anagramming everything and would frequently follow random tangents while thinking/talking. I loved that. I found it so entertaining. I like to be in someone else's mind and see how they think, especially when they think so differently than I do.

Hassan was hilarious, even if he was crude. And kind of confusing. But I loved reading him. Every time I read something by John Green I just want to curl up inside his books and be friends with all his characters. John Green and I should be friends. That's all. And was I the only one who didn't know that John Green is the Mental Floss guy?!? I mean, I love that guy! And I love his books. And he lives in Orlando!?! Seriously. We should be friends.

Other than loving the characters and finding the whole book pleasantly entertaining I just don't have much to say about it. I loved all the random knowledge tidbits; The footnotes were hilarious. I liked that there were multiple plot lines going on; not everything revolved around Colin's broken heart, even though much of the book did actually revolve around Colin's broken heart.

Oh! The math stuff. I'm not a math person, really, so I understand how many reviewers got bored by all the math-y things in this book but it really didn't bother me much. For one thing, it was explained so plainly that I almost wished I had read this in high school. For another, the idea behind the math, and the fact that placing numbers in an equation like this could tell a story rather than just produce some random numbers, was fascinating to me. I have never thought of math as telling a story.

So I learned a few things that didn't ever feel like a teacher wrote this book to sneakily work in some academic concepts in a form that teenagers would read. I never felt preached to or condescended to. It just was. And I liked that.

To sum up: I love the way John Green writes. He's funny. His characters are the best and I want them for my friends. While the book was well-written and there were interesting things in it, it just wasn't a super compelling story for me. I wanted to love it more. And I will definitely be reading more of John Green.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Moderate (unless you count the use of the word "fug" in place of cursing... because it's everywhere.)
Drugs/Alcohol: Moderate (I think? I remember mention of alcohol but I don't remember how much)
Violence: Mild

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