Amy's Reviews > An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
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Feb 07, 09

bookshelves: michael-l-printz-award
Read in January, 2009

This is the story of a road trip that two older teens, Colin and Hassan, go on because Colin has been dumped by his nineteenth girlfriend named Katherine. They find jobs in another town and experience adventures as Colin tries to figure out a mathmatical equation that will predict when a relationship will end. By letting go of his "Katherine's" Colin also learns to let go of some of the pressure he feels as a child prodigy and Hassan starts to realize he does want to do something with his life.

This book will appeal to teens because it is all about the changes they are experiencing or about to experience. Colin wants to predict his future in romantic relationships so he can prepare and not be as hurt. Many teens feel that way as they try to navigate the world of dating and, inevidably, get hurt one way or another. Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey also try to figure out what they want to do as adults as they move from childhood thoughts about their futures to adult ideas.

This book has several Developmental Assets in it. Family Support is showed by both Colin and Hassan's parents as they support thier road trip idea and require them to call in periodically. Lindsey's mom hiring the boys for the summer and giving them room and board illustrates Other Adult Relationships. But mostly, this book is about Positive Peer Influence and Personal Power. The story would have been very different if the main characters were not upstanding citizens who support each other. What the main characters are looking for throughout the book is the Personal Power to make their life what they want it to be.

The characters are very believable and quirky. The fact that Hassan will tell Colin abruptly when he is going on and on about something no one cares about, makes their friendship work. Most highly intellegent people have limited social skills and that helps make their relationship believable. Lindsey is stuck in a high school, popularity-contest pattern of behavior that is common in teens making her very believable.

For boys, I would focus more on the fight scenes and road trip part of the book. There is a very well developed, masculine relationship between Colin and Hassan that I think would appeal to boys. For the girls, it is a good romance with lots of interpersonal questions about how much of a person pleaser you should be. I also think that sex in a cemetary and the constant use of the word "fuggin" would be worth mentioning to promote this book to teens.

5Q, 5P, S

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