Apr 18, 08
not really sure who
Read in April, 2008
I was not terribly impressed with Katherines. I read Green's Looking For Alaska and thought it was one of the best young adult novels I have ever read SO I was expecting this book to measure up to a higher standard. Unfortunately, it did not even come close.
Here's my beef with the book:
1) The characters. I had a really hard time getting into Katherines because the characters were not too likable. Green gave the characters personalities, but he missed something in the character development category that could have made his characters people that readers (especially young adults) could relate to.
2) The basic premise of the book did not appeal to me. I never bought into the 19-girlfriends-named-Katherine bit and struggled to understand why the main character spent the entire novel trying to devise a mathematical formula that would explain why he was dumped so often by his girlfriends. It all just seemed a bit OCD and irrational to me, and it almost felt like he was trying too hard to come up with a unique idea for his sophomore novel.
3) I was disappointed because I found huge chunks of the book to be pretty boring. Many of the conversations were dull and I found myself skimming a lot of the text. I skimmed because I kept thinking the book would make a turnaround but I think most young adult readers would probably give up. I think the footnotes and references made it worse but it just seemed to me like a lot of what happened could have been said in a simpler and faster way.
My last concern is that I am not sure who this text is really for. Middle school kids probably would not "get" the main message because of the higher level vocabulary and I think those obscure references/footnotes make the book seem even more difficult than it is.
I wish this book was more like Looking For Alaska because that was truly a fantastic read but hopefully his future writing will sort of return to that simple but beautiful type of expression. Katherines isn't horrible but I definitely would not go out of my way to recommend it and would suggest that you read Looking For Alaska instead.