17 May 2014

An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Sometimes I feel that John Green's coming of age novels are a little too fantastical to relate to, yet that does not stop me from enjoying them.  An Abundance of Katherines is no exception.  Colin sets off on a roadtrip for the summer after he is dumped by a Katherine for the 19th time with his buddy Hassan, who seems rather insure with his roots/heritage.

I do love the cover of the novel, and it became clear rather early on exactly where the development for the cover came from.  After getting dumped by Katherine XIX, Colin decides to make a formula to predict Dumpers/Dumpees and the length of a relationship.  He also wants to use the formula to explain all his past relationships with Katherines as well.

For a child prodigy, Colin exhibits the stereotypical lack of social skills.  Hassam is his only friend, and when he gets in a relationship (although I hardly call some of these exes relationships as they lasted less than a day) with a girl (always names Katherine), he can't help but ruin it by becoming super insecure and worrying if she loves him.  Growing up with a teenage brother a few years younger than me and watching his relationships unfold, I can honestly say that this point of the novel seems to hold true from some high school boys.

Colin's problem is that he doesn't seem to want to be able, and his insecurities with his label as a child prodigy do not help matters.  It isn't just about his fixation on his recent breakup with Katherine either.  When Hassam decides to go cruising with his new pals from Gunshot, Colin gets jealous that Hassam wants to spend time with them instead of with him.

While Colin isn't the most likeable main character to root for, I can at least relate to him, and therefore enjoyed the novel.  Towards the end, John Green has some wonderful lines that I really liked that finally made an impact on me.  The novel even has undertones of humor, which is a different step than what I am used to with Green's normal super angsty stories.

While not a novel I would read again, An Abundance of Katherines is worth a read this summer (or next).

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