16th August 2014

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“When it comes to girls (and in Colin’s case, it so often did), everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type was not physical but linguistic: he liked Katherines. And not Katies or Kats or Kitties or Cathys or Rynns or Trinas or Kays of Kates or, God forbid. Catherines. K.A.T.H.E.R.I.N.E.S.”

After reading The Fault In Our Stars my expectations for An Abundance of Katherines were very high indeed. Although I’m being constantly made aware that John Green’s books are aimed at a ‘young adult’ audience, I try not to go in with a preconceived notion of what to expect. I hate when books are categorised into one specific age bracket – have Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins & J. K. Rowling taught us nothing? The beauty of a book is that age doesn’t restrict our ability to connect with characters and situations. I believe we can all read the same book and identify with it on a wide range and depth of levels regardless of gender, culture or age. So I’m rather unapologetic about selecting and reading a book some believe is ‘designed’ for teenagers – I’ve done it before and I’ll definitely do it again!

Colin Singleton is a socially ‘underdeveloped’, anagram obsessed, washed-up child prodigy who has just been dumped. Together with his best friend (and only friend), Hassan, he goes on a road trip to relieve his crushing heartbreak. Unfortunately, heartbreak is something Colin has become accustomed to, as he has been dumped by every girlfriend he has ever dated – all 19 of them… all of which were called Katherine.

“Dumpers may not always be the heartbreakers, and the Dumpees may not always be the heartbroken. But everyone has a tendency.”

As well being destined to be a ‘dumpee’ Colin is also constantly haunted by the notion of underachieving and not mattering to the world. Although extremely intelligent he fears he will never reach his full potential, never achieve the status of genius and therefore never leave a legacy to which he will be remembered. Then, in the middle of ‘hicksville’ Tennessee, he finally has his Eureka moment and The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability is born.

Colin is surprisingly relatable despite his child prodigy status; he is the underdog and Hassan is the comic relief, their friendship is ultimately the foundation of this coming of age novel. As the book progresses, however, Colin becomes increasingly self-obsessed. The footnotes, which at first I found clever become rather monotonous and I skipped a lot of them towards the end, as they didn’t really add anything to the story, the same goes for the graphs and formulas. At only 272 pages long I struggled to want to finish it. Although entertaining at parts, light-hearted and cleverly stylised I found this book rather repetitive and dare I say it, slightly boring towards the end. If you want to read a ‘coming of age’ romance I recommend The Fault in our Stars and if you want to read about an intelligent, socially inept, underdog using science to find love, I suggest The Rosie Project. Perhaps this is where I went wrong! I subconsciously chose a book far too similar in concept to two of the best books I’ve read all year! If I had read this first would I have a different opinion? Perhaps! What do you think? Leave a comment below I’d be really interested to know your thoughts!

Roxie | Scottish beauty blogger & mummy to two beautiful girls. Gilmore Girls, coffee and cake lover. Serious makeup hoarder.

Want to work with me? Get in touch… Roxie5f1@msn.com

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