An Abundance of Katherines, and John Green’s beautiful writing.

Out of the five John Green books, this is the last one I had to read. I would have probably read it sooner, but I had a lot of trouble finding it in stores and libraries. I eventually bought it when I went to see John and Hank on The Fault in our Stars tour, because he had all of his books on sale.

An Abundance of Katherines, like any other John Green book, is absolutely beautiful. I’m not talking about the cover (though that was lovely), I’m not talking about the plot, (which was pretty good, but not completely remarkable), I’m talking about the words themselves – the writing.

Like I said, a rather lovely cover

This seems to be the general consensus as regards John Green books. The writing is literally beautiful. I won’t go into it in detail, but it really is extraordinarily beautiful to read, in way that the majority of books aren’t. It’s not because the writing is simple, it’s not because the writing is more complicated, Green is just such an eloquent writer, and it’s completely magnificent.

“What matters to you defines your mattering.”
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

“The thing about chameleoning your way through life is that it gets to where nothing is real.”
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

“I am crying, he thought, opening his eyes to stare through the soapy, stinging water. I feel like crying, so I must be crying, but it’s impossible to tell because I’m underwater.”
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

Colin Singleton is a former child prodigy with a thing for Katherines. As in his dating history consists of nineteen Katherines. And he’s been dumped by said nineteen Katherines. After finishing school his best (and only) friend, the Judge-Judy-loving, overweight, Muslim, Hassan convinces him that the only way to get over Katherine XIX is a road trip. This road trip leads them to the Tennessee town of Gunshot, where they stop for a tour, and end up with a job and a place to stay – with Hollis, arguably the most important woman in town, and her daughter, and proud citizen of Gunshot, Lindsey.

While in Gunshot, Colin stumbles across his idea. The idea that will take him from a washed up child prodigy, to a genius, mentioned in the same breath as Einstein and Pythagoras.

A theorem of love.

Specifically, a theorem that will allow you to measure the length of a potential relationship, and who is likely to be dumper/dumpee. Calculated using a lot of maths, taking into account factors such as popularity, age, likeliness of being a dumpee/dumper.

If it works, this idea could give Colin what he wants, fame. Not fame as in Kim Kardashian, or Katy Perry, but fame as in Shakespeare, or Pythagoras – fame for centuries to come, to be remembered past his days.

Well, if he could get it work that is.

A lot of people think of An Abundance of Katherines as the worst of John Green’s books, but I really don’t agree with them. Personally, while I prefer A Fault in our Stars, and Will Grayson Will Grayson, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I did Paper Towns, and even Looking for Alaska.

I found the characters were all quite well-rounded, and I didn’t dislike anybody, which is quite unusual, as it probably would be for most people. The plot wasn’t amazing, I’ll be honest, but it certainly wasn’t bad, I’d chalk it up as solidly above average.

All in all I’d probably give An Abundance of Katherines 3.5 out of five stars.


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