Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I’ve decided to add my reviews to my blog.  Starting this out is my 100th book of 2012, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.  You can find these reviews on my Goodreads page as well.

AbundanceGoodreads description of the book:

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, 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 by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.

Supposedly, the first John Green book is the one you like best. This is my second John Green solo book, and I liked it much better than Paper Towns, as I always suspected I would. (However, as I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson first and loved it, perhaps that counts as my first, but I digress).

I was pulled to AoK by the whole premise of finding an equation to calculate a relationship. When I was a teen, I adored math, and I was intrigued by a book that seemed to revolve around a math equation. It sort of does, but actually the prodigy main character is not interested in math, but rather in languages. Still I found many things about Colin to be fascinating. Although he is incredibly self-involved, I love seeing the way he thinks and learns. His lists of how his mind jumps from one subject to another is just the way I think. In fact, one friend calls this “Sage logic.” To outsiders there was no connection, but to the person thinking this way, the connection is obvious. It’s actually surprising, then, that Colin isn’t a math prodigy, getting in trouble for jumping to the answer in a math equation without doing the problem on paper for the teacher to see. Yes, there are a lot of us with that experience.

I was a little hesitant about the initial “road trip” plotline, since that was something I didn’t love about Paper Towns, but the road trip is actually short and the destination is quite interesting.

There is a little mystery in the book about Hollis, but it was pretty obvious what her secret is based on every single element that causes the characters to go “hmm.” Instead, it is other twists in the book that are more fun and help the story tie together, like some twists about Colin’s Katherines.

Then there’s a girl who isn’t named Katherine. Lindsey suffers from what a lot of teen girls suffer from, I think. She’s trying to define herself based on what others think she should be. Whether she’s redefining herself for Colin, it’s with him that she is the most appealing character. And their dialogue-only scenes in her secret cave are adorable.

Overall I enjoyed this book, although I was a little iffy in the beginning with an overload of the word “fug,” starting out with vomiting and a road trip. But once we got to a destination, I was pulled in on Colin’s journey of self-discovery instead.

Recommended for fans of: contemporary YA, male POVs, math, anagrams, stories about teen prodigies, non-heroic main characters, feral pig hunts, and interesting trivia (even when other characters are saying it’s not interesting).

Lots of love,

ETA: I realized that I hadn’t worked out a rating system for the blog yet.  I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.  I’ll work something out before my next review, promise

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