An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Release date: September 21, 2006
Difficulty level: Oh John-Green-YA-Novels, how I love your vocabulary. It all sounds fancy, and there’s probably a 7th grader out there somewhere who has to use the dictionary attribute on the kindle for this, but my 13 years in the public school system didn’t fail me! I may have done some eye-glazing with the math bit, but I did try to read through the appendix. And then skipped to the end. Just keeping it honest.
Time to completion: about three hours.
Ugh, Meh, Whatever, Yeah!, or OHMIGOSH: This is somewhere between an Yeah! and an OHMIGOSH. The scale may need some revising.
An Abundance of Katherines is this completely adorable book by John Green, an author I’m coming more and more to love. If you paid attention, you would notice that this is the second John Green book on the blog (and as such, this is a bonus review and doesn’t count towards the goal). John Green is a favorite with the Cloyd ladies, but it took many, many years for me to read his first book, Looking for Alaska. I think this is because I knew B loved it so much, and I knew we have really, really different tastes in books, and I knew that if I read it and hated it, she’d be really disappointed, and if I read it and loved it, I’d not want to love the same exact thing as my sister and would probably hate it anway. Which is why last summer out of the clear blue sunny skies I picked it up and read Alaska in about two hours while no one was home. And loved it. But not like in a whoa-life-changing-way, which is what I think it was for B and R, but in a I-really-had-to-think-about-what-high-school-was-like-and-I-don’t-like-it kind of way. Oddly enough, that worked for me, and I joined the TFiOS countdown. But for some reason I decided that going from Alaska to TFiOS was ok, and I could just skip the other books John Green had written or co-authored in between. So I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson over break, and then just now I read Katherines and next up is Paper Towns.
Point is, I really like John Green. But I digress.
Katherines is different than other John Green novels because of its basically cute, rom-com storyline that follows a washed up child prodigy name Colin who has been dumped by a Katherine 19 times. And no, that isn’t the same girl who gets a kick out of on-again, off-again relationships, but 19 distinct relationships. Wowza. Post-high school graduation, Colin takes off on a road trip with his good buddy Hassan, looking for a distraction and possibly a job.
TFiOS not withstanding, this may be my favorite John Green book. I read most of it on the train going in and out of the city today and I felt like an idiot pretty much the whole time because I could not stop laughing. I’m not gonna say that I think at anywhere near the level Colin does, but when he makes random connections and then has to say it out loud and then nobody gets what the crap he’s talking about- I can relate to that. Everyone can relate to wanting to matter, but maybe if you’ve always heard that you’re supposed to matter, the pressure is even more on and you can relate even more to Colin.
If you have some free time and you just want to laugh, I’d highly recommend this book. Also, there’s stuff about oral history (awesome!), places where famous people are buried (always interesting), anagrams (which I suck at but am impressed by people who can do it), and capitalism.
ps. still working on Atlas Shrugged. I needed a break from that, my head was gonna explode. Messy.