Monday, July 1, 2013

Simply Genius: An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Dutton, 2006

It's hardly a secret that I am a fan of both John Green and his writing. I'm proud to be a Nerdfighter and Green's stories often surprise me, leading me to discover new things about the story and myself. However, one way in which I feel I'm in the minority when it comes to this author's body of work is when I declare that after The Fault in Our Stars, Green's sophomore novel An Abundance of Katherines is my favorite book of his.

A recent road trip proved to be the perfect occasion to reread the story of Colin Singleton, a former child prodigy and recent high school graduate who has just been dumped. Again. And for the 19th time, it's by a girl named Katherine. While on a road trip with his best friend Hassan, the boys wind up in the small town of Gutshot, Tennessee, meet up with a colorful cast of characters including the incredibly un-Katherine girl Lindsey Lee Wells, and Colin finally has the Eureka moment he's been hoping for his whole life: he thinks he can develop a mathematical theorem that will predict the life of a relationship, hoping this will be his ticket to doing something that he believes really matters and avoiding future heartbreak.

Green's books never shy away from the big questions that life throws at us that can be hard to find answers to whether you're a teen or an adult. Katherines is no exception, but I still say this is the most light hearted of his solo novels. It's about relationships: with our friends, our parents, our romantic interests past, present, and future. It's about what matters to each of us, how others see us, and how we see ourselves. Plus there are anagrams, footnotes, and impressive looking math equations that I don't fully understand but they're awesome. Each of these characters brings something to the table, not always good things, and that's what makes them feel real. Glimpses of these characters remind me so much of people I knew in high school and college, and I love that about this book.

So if you're in the mood for a book that will make you think a little bit, laugh a lot, and still fits the bill for a summer read, I highly encourage you to check out An Abundance of Katherines.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I LOVED seeing your own road trip through Instagram! That was so much fun :)
    I liked a lot of things about this book! I always love a good road trip book and I really enjoyed how it turned into so much more than that. Hassan was hilarious and I listened to the audio which was done really, really well! I actually wasn't a huge fan of Colin so that kind of put a damper on the book for me but there were lots of good messages along with funny moments.
    Loved reading your review! I can tell you really enjoyed it :)

    1. I've heard good things about this audiobook, but I wonder, how did that work considering the many footnotes that are all throughout the printed version? And the math must have been interesting to listen to! Lindsey Lee Wells is my favorite Green girl and I wasn't Colin's #1 fan either, but I think that's why I was so interested in Lindsey and Hassan because they liked him enough to put up with him. Plus he had a realistic amount of character growth. Thanks so much for commenting and following along on my road trip via Instagram =)

  2. Okay, now I want to reread this immediately. I feel like this book doesn't get the attention it deserves. I think it's brilliant, but it seems to almost get forgotten when compared to John's other books.
    Your post has reminded me of why I love this book. I think I'll definitely have to reread it at some point this summer. :)

    1. I completely agree! I absolutely adore this book and I hate that it is so quickly forgotten. I hope you have the chance to reread it - I found myself laughing out loud this time around reading it in the car which was perfect. Thanks for commenting!