Tina's Reviews > An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
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Dec 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, contemporary, ya
Read from December 04 to 19, 2010 — I own a copy

Original post at One More Page

When the need to read contemporary novels hit me, it stays and it stays until the need decides it's satisfied. And what better book to fill that contemporary need than something written by John Green?

I was really planning to read John Green's books in order of publication, but Paper Towns had to come first due to an insistent friend and because I covered that with plastic first. I didn't mind, although I was kind of wary thinking of how this book would fare against the rest, or how the other books would fare after I read this one, given the John Green formula. True to that formula, An Abundance of Katherines has the usual elements: a nerdy/loserish (by popularity’s standards)/socially awkward guy, a mysterious girl, a trusty and equally nerdy/loserish (by popularity’s standards)/socially awkward sidekick, and a car. But that's when the similarities end, because this book is probably is indeed the funniest, quirkiest, and the happiest among all Green books.

Colin Singleton is an anagram loving child prodigy who has only one friend and strangely a lot of girlfriends, all named Katherines. After he gets dumped by the 19th Katherine, he sets off on a road trip with his Lebanese friend, Hassan. The two find themselves in Gutshot, Tennessee, where they meet Hollis and Lindsey, and find a job gathering stories from locals for some project. Colin finds himself consumed by trying to prove his Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which would predict his relationship with the next Katherine, and along the way (just like the other John Green books), our hero finds out more about himself.

The best thing about An Abundance of Katherines is how quirky the entire book is. It's not just the characters or the story but how it was also written. Math geeks would definitely be happy about the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, with graphs and whatnot inside the book. I love the little footnotes on the pages that translates some of the words Colin and Hassan say, as well as little anecdotes about Colin and his own quirkiness. If you don't like math, well, don't worry either. I'm pretty sure you will still enjoy this book because you don't really need math to understand the graphs or equations. You don't really need to understand them, anyway, but if you're like me who doesn't really like math but want to understand things, there's an appendix right at the end of the book that explains the equations and graphs. It reminds me a bit of analytic geometry in high school, but in a more fun scale. Why didn't we have this book back then?

I love that this book not only talks about relationships and dumping, but it also manages to touch a bit on reading, books and telling stories -- three things I like. I've never actually been a Dumpee or a Dumper (that is, in a "proper" relationship sense. By proper, I mean actual real relationships where both parties are in it, and not just one pining after the other, or what I like to call "Almost there, but not quite". Okay, Dingleberries! :P), so I couldn't really relate to that, but I like how there were some parts of Colin that I could relate to, particularly in books. I really liked one of his last Eureka moments, particularly this quote:
Even if it's a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward - ever smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter - maybe less than a lot, but always more than some.

This really makes me wonder why I waited so long to read John Green's books. But no matter, I'm glad I read them now. This makes me want to go to the book store and search for his works (namely Let It Snow , Geektastic , 21 Proms, and Will Grayson Will Grayson ). More John Green over here, please.

Oh, and in case you're wondering how this compares to Paper Towns for me? It's a tie, really. I can't pick which is better. But An Abundance of Katherines definitely has the happiest ending among all John Green books, so that's something to keep in mind if you're wondering which to read first. :)
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Quotes Tina Liked

John Green
“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

John Green
“He found himself thinking that maybe stories don't just make us matter to each other - maybe they're also the only way to the infinite mattering he'd been after for so long.

And Colin thought: Because like say I tell someone about my feral hog hunt. Even if it's a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward - ever smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter - maybe less than a lot, but always more than some.”
John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

John Green
“He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.”
John Green, An Abundance of Katherines


Reading Progress

12/05/2010 page 76
30.0%
12/14/2010 page 112
44.0% "You can love someone so much...but you can never love people as much as you can miss them. (p. 105)"
12/19/2010 page 150
59.0% "There's some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what. (p 126)"
12/19/2010 page 256
100.0% 1 comment
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Aaron Vincent HEY! I dare to argue! Saw this at Will's post too. The loser guy is not Green's equation. I haven't met Colins yet so I'll leave him alone. Nerdy, yes. Socially awkward, yes, but no LOSER! I can't see anything from Miles and Q that will make them losers.


message 2: by Tina (last edited Dec 20, 2010 08:58PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Aaron Vincent wrote: "HEY! I dare to argue! Saw this at Will's post too. The loser guy is not Green's equation. I haven't met Colins yet so I'll leave him alone. Nerdy, yes. Socially awkward, yes, but no LOSER! I can't ..."

I didn't mean loser in a bad way. :P Wait, let me correct that. XD

EDITED. Okay, there. :)


Aaron Vincent Well done. :P


message 4: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi Hey I wanted to try something John green too, Geeez that guy was so funny in Youtube, most of my friends here when I make a status on that said I should read Looking for Alaska first, whaddya think? Should i read that or Paper Towns or this one?


Tina Joyzi is *Team Adrian* wrote: "Hey I wanted to try something John green too, Geeez that guy was so funny in Youtube, most of my friends here when I make a status on that said I should read Looking for Alaska first, whaddya think..."

You can start anywhere, really. Looking for Alaska is most serious, An Abundance of Katherines is the funniest, but I think Paper Towns has the best plot. :) It depends on what you want to feel after. :D


message 6: by Joyzi (new) - added it

Joyzi okay I'll go for the funniest


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