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An Abundance of Katherines

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Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

229 pages, Hardcover

First published September 21, 2006

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About the author

John Green

363 books303k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 27,267 reviews
Profile Image for Megs ♥.
160 reviews1,284 followers
December 4, 2013

This was by far the worst experience I've ever had reading a John Green book. I really always enjoy his writing and humor, but this one just didn't do anything for me.

I don't think the book was horrible, but it couldn't hold my attention too long so I was happy it was very short. If it was any longer I probably wouldn't have finished it. I couldn't stand Colin. He was annoying and whiny and just because he acknowledges that fact himself doesn't mean it makes it any less annoying to read about. His friend Hassan was alright. I didn't mind him and I thought he had some funny parts, but most of the humor with him was about his fatness and man boobs. That's not exactly my kind of humor, but I'm sure there are other people who love that kinda stuff. Lindsey wasn't that interesting either. She wasn't annoying like Colin, but I just found myself thinking they would hook up and that's it.

To me this book was just bland. It didn't have any good twists or an engaging plot. Usually I feel lots of emotions when reading one of John's books, but with this one I felt nothing but boredom. He does include his signature road trip where the character learns some lessons about life, but getting that far was a struggle for me.

I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who wants to try John Green, because I rate this so much lower than all of his other books. The writing style and formula is present, but it's just not as good.

Profile Image for Dawn.
745 reviews54 followers
January 27, 2009
Things that I was sick of by the end of this book:

1. Anagrams and tangents
2. Use of the words jewfro, fug, fugger, fugging, kafir
3. Colin's whining--actually, Colin in general
4. Katherines
Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,195 followers
September 15, 2019

“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.”




You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!

You don't know what expectations I had about this book.I have read other John Green's book like Looking for Alaska and The Fault in our Stars and really liked them especially the first one,also the hype about this book is insane so I thought why not.Guess I thought wrong.


This book sure contains the marvel of John Green's smart writing,and it is so realatable,especially if you are a nerdy teen with tumblr,and that's smart and unique in a way,and I gave this book 2 stars just because of that.In the other hand it is boring,like ultimately boring.First I thought the idea with dating only girls named Katherine would be interesting or fun,but it turned out to be so dull and I really thought of not finishing this book.The only part of the book I did like was the ending and the famous John Green tumblr-ish positive message and to be honest was good.I really wanted to like this book.

“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?”



The characters were also the famous author's characters.If you are have read at least 2 books by this author,you can guess.A nerdy smart boy who happens to meet a popular unhappy girl,from who he learns about the beauty of living free and young,and also falls in love with.I did not like his sidekick,Hassan.He was annyoing and similar to some persons I do happen to know in real life,who I dislike a lot.


The story follows a boy named Colin,who is a prodigy(a really smart kid) and has this weird habit on dating only girl named Katherine.He has dated 19 Katherines and was dumbed by every single on of them.Devestated by his last break up he decides to go on a trip with his only friend,Hassan.They happen to go to this small town where they meet Lindsey,and her mother Hollis,who offers a job and a home.They decide to stay and there Colin stars his theorem about the relationships and everything start to happen in Colin's life.Things he never ecperienced before.

“I figured something out. The future is unpredictable.”



I recommend this book if you are into smart books.It was so slow for me,but the ending is good and it is a positive book.If you are super into John Green's books then you should read this!

*Pictures from the review are not mine, I took them mostly from Google images or Tumblr*
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,588 followers
January 25, 2015
A reenactment of the moment An Abundance of Katherines was conceived:

John Green sat at his desk, quietly contemplating the ghettoization of scrambled eggs as a breakfast food and brainstorming ideas for his new book.

His last novel, Looking for Alaska, had done moderately well, but he wanted to do something different this time. Something to show his critics that he wasn't a one-trick pony yet out-of-there enough to show his nerdfighters that he was one of them. An outsider, a man of the people.

His eyes drifted to a map taped on the wall, then to an unfinished Scrabble game from last night. His brother Hank had been kicking his butt, but had to leave to mediate on the metaphysics of ice-cream trucks before he could finish spelling 'hamartia' (luckily).

As he was idly staring at his unused letters, it hit him. "Eureka!" he yelled, glasses sliding down his nose in his excitement. "That's it! I'll write a book about anagrams! That's nerdy and chic, and in no way like my last protagonist's obsession with famous last words."

John picked up the letters, rearranging them in his head: 'Hem, arrow, hero. Yes, hero! He needed a protagonist. Preferably one like himself. White male, middle-class range, intelligent, quirky... but as an extra twist, his quirkiness would be the result of autism. Mild autism. Nothing too heavy. Fans won't be able to relate to him! Also, research is hard. I'd rather philosophize on Venn diagrams of octopi and dogs.'

Putting the letters down, he paced the floor, dialogue and plot points bombarding his head like unformed constellations. 'My protagonist should have a best friend like Colonel. Quirky enough to get his jokes, but won't overshadow the main character, which is in no way like me. Let's make him an Arab, too. That takes care of the diversity problem. And a love interest! Gorgeous and quirky. Oh, and she should exist to teach my main character an important lesson. Yay, feminism points! But how do I get them to meet?"

His gaze landed on the map again.

'A road trip! That's not like Pudge and Colonel's emotional journey to find Alaska at all!'

John laughed, clapped his hands together and sat down in front of his laptop. Then he began to write.

'John, my man, I don't know how you think of this stuff.'

Profile Image for Simcsa.
92 reviews88 followers
November 15, 2011
I tried. I really did, believe me! But I can't do it, it's boring, it has no plot whatsoever and I don't like any of the characters. I'm not going to torture myself..
Profile Image for Maggie Stiefvater.
Author 81 books168k followers
December 29, 2008
As a YA author, I'd heard the name "John Green" whispered in the YA wind for months, but I'd never picked up one of his books until I read a synopsis for AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES online. My husband, a pretty reluctant reader, snitched it from me and devoured it, so I was expecting great things.

I wasn't disappointed. This story of a boy struggling to come up with a theory that describes the arc of his 19 relationships with girls named Katherine was, in many places, laugh out loud funny. Even with flashbacks, the pacing never flagged, and though it wasn't the world's most unpredictable plot, I was never bored.

The real charm in this book is both the characters -- larger than life, quirky people who don't quite fit into society -- and the dialog. In John Green's hands, dialog is a weapon . . . and he slayed me.

I'm thrilled that he has a two other novels and a recent anthology for me to work through next.

***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.***
Profile Image for Erin.
131 reviews55 followers
December 8, 2013
Had I been reading this on paper instead of my computer, it probably would have gone into the fireplace here: "She was incredibly hot--in that popular-girl-with-bleached-teeth-and-anorexia kind of way, which was Colin's least favorite way of being hot." And if somehow it had survived that initial immolation, I definitely would have shredded it for birdcage fodder (and I don't even own a bird!) here: "She looked prettier than she ever had before--Colin always preferred girls without makeup."

This book was everything I don't like about John Green. And I've already spent enough of my one precious life complaining about how his books are the literary embodiment of high school boys being unsuccessful in love and the general social hierarchy and then constructing an impossibly unpleasant wall of moral superiority as some sort of retroactive explanation for why no one likes them (they're all stupid and superficial anyway and I'm ABOVE all of that) when really maybe they're just obnoxious or plain unlucky and they can't seem to realize that - etc etc to want to spend much more time on it. Basically this is the platonic ideal of John Green books. His books teach bad lessons to fragile kids and turn them into insufferable judgmental douchebags.

So Colin, maybe all those Katherines dumped you because you're kind of an asshole. Where's the variable for that?
Profile Image for Kim.
286 reviews792 followers
October 30, 2010
Colin Singleton is not a vampire or a werewolf or a sorcerer or a punning Austin zombie. He doesn’t live in a dystopian society, he hasn’t slept with his teacher. He doesn’t do drugs, his parents aren’t divorced, and he’s suffered no traumas unless you count being dumped by a slew (okay, nineteen) of girls named Katherine.

So, why am I reading this? I have been programmed to only care about supernatural cute boys. I call this my mid life crisis. If I give in and self analyze, I would say that I’m avoiding real life. I’m letting myself get caught up in situations that I would have daydreamed about at maybe age 12. Being the ‘damsel in distress’, being unconditionally loved for qualities that I have not yet discovered in myself. Feeling safe, always protected by really cute guys… the bad guys always get caught, and everyone lives happily ever after.

What I’m avoiding is that memory of that… drive… that happens somewhere around age 16... Where you feel like you have the ability to change the world. That you will go off and do amazing things and that your whole life is waiting for you. It’s a rush. I remember sitting in the Boston Commons on summer night in 1988, I was 17, freshly graduated waiting to start college… we had just moved into an apartment in East Boston and Jimmy Cliff was playing a concert in the park. I didn’t have to tell anyone where I was going or when I would be back. I remember sitting on this hill, staring at the sky through the trees, listening to that reggae beat and thinking ‘I am free. I am young and I can do anything.’

THAT is what I’m running from. So, when I finished AAOK, I almost resented Green for reminding me of that. Then, I had this selfless epiphany. This is not for me. This was written for that generation. Those kids that are getting ready to change the world. They want to ‘matter’, they want to be remembered. I really envy them. Not in that self piteous way… just in that youthful energetic way. I get this way each fall when I watch the kids slumping off to UVM. They look so hopeful and serious. Why does that have to fade?

This is a road trip book. I’ve seen it listed as such. I would expand on that ‘road trip’ theme and make it not just a literal one. Colin wants to get away from being the dumpee of all girls named Katherine. But, it’s than that. Colin has always been considered a ‘child prodigy’ and he’s thinking that maybe that isn’t enough to ‘matter’ or to make a mark on the world. After all, a prodigy isn’t a genius… A prodigy regurgitates. A genius creates. Colin’s road trip is much more mental than led on.

I like that Colin doesn’t sparkle or have telling scars. I picture him as a cooler Napoleon Dynamite. He has a sidekick. A pudgy Horatio. He has a talent for anagramming. And he likes math. Okay, I was all for it except for the math part. Ugh. I admit, I skimmed a lot of the theorems and graphs and algebraic equations. Lost me there.

But, anagramming… swoon I am an anagramming nerd. (Regard naming man, Drain Merman Gang, Ragged Man Arm Inn)

Colin and his Horatio, Hassan, end up leaving Chicago and turning up in Gutshot, Tennessee. THAT is a horror story --‘dead end’ turn-- of events. I went all Ned Beatty and shuddered and almost stopped reading. But, I’m learning to fight my biases… it’s one of those mid life crisis goals. The south is NOT scary… not always. (Gutshot? Really? That was hard to swallow, I’m sure there are towns named that and all, but I’m taking baby steps here) Colin has many Eureka moments in Gutshot and each one makes me love him more. He’s a sweet kid who just wants to be loved, to not be left behind. Who can fault that?

Colin quotes Democritus “Everywhere man blames nature and fate, yet his fate is mostly but the echo of his character and passions, his mistakes and weaknesses.”

What a great quote to pass on to Generation Z or whatever they are now. I wish that I had that when I was young. I might not have set myself up for failure… I hope that these kids carry this with them because I feel a kinship with them. I was a Reagan kid, they are Bush 34 kids… we know…

This book really does give hope if not understanding the need for hope. (if that makes sense) I hear that there is a movie in the works. I’m sure they’ll pretty up Colin and make him seem quirky and all that, but I hope that they delve into that next level and give props to that insecurity, because that’s what we need. To see that it’s okay if you only matter to yourself. Ned Vizzini’s It's Kind of a Funny Story had that same sort of message and I am saddened that that movie didn’t do well, that teens care more about zombies or jackasses.

My next Eureka moment: to pass this lesson on to my kids.

Post Script: Oh, and I want to mention that there are footnotes in this book. And it’s okay. It’s more like the DFW type footnotes where you feel like you have an extra character that you can turn to and say ‘I know, right?’… It’s all good.
Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
September 5, 2015
Un libro sin nada que contar, nada original y que carece de trama. Empecemos por el protagonista, Colin, siendo un clon del resto de personajes de John Green. No eres un personaje interesante para nada. Pero eso no es lo gracioso, lo gracioso es saber que es feo, raro, antisocial... ¿y me tengo que creer que ha tenido 19 novias? D-I-E-C-I-N-U-E-V-E. Sí, es todo muy realista. Él es un fucker, y encima casi todas sus novias han sido guapas e incluso ha estado con alguna popular. ME MEO ENCIMA.

Tenemos a Hassan, el mejor amigo de Colin, que aunque es UN intento de incluir algo diferente e intentar normalizarlo (es musulmán), se convierte en un personaje que vuelve a ser un plagio del resto de personajes secundarios de John Green y además se convierte en un cliché gigante, utilizando su cultura y religión para hacer la inmensa mayoría de sus chistes. ¡Genial, John Green, te ha salido el tiro por la culata!

Y luego Lindsey, una chica también popular, buenorrísima y que de verdad, ¡oh, vaya!, también resulta ser una cerebrito superparecida a Colin. No, no es predecible. Para nada. Consigue añadirle algo a la historia, y me molesta, porque es una Alaska o una Margo de la vida. Solitaria, incomprendida... pero que con Colin puede ser ella misma. John Green, haciendo realidad las fantasías sexuales machistas desde 2005.

Me da pena que El teorema Katherine sea tan mala, porque John Green es un autor que en el fondo me gusta, pero creo que esta novela no se sostiene por ningún lado. La trama no es clara (si es que podemos encontrarla), el hecho de incluir el teorema es absurdo porque no contribuye en nada, ni a los personajes ni a la historia, y en general, no hay nada que contar. No hay una moraleja, no hay giros en la trama. Es lineal, completamente lineal, sin evolución de los personajes. Predecible. Aburrida. No tiene nada que digas: oh, vaya, voy a seguir leyendo a ver qué pasa. NO HAY NADA. ¿Qué me intentas contar, que te vas de viaje con tu amigo a un sitio perdido para buscarte la vida porque estás depresivo porque tu novia número diecinueve te ha dejado y a los dos días ya estás bien? Por no hablar de que no te crees que el personaje de Colin sea tan rarísimo como lo pintan. Es que es un chico tan normal para este tipo de novelas que no sé qué tiene de especial. Ah, sí, nada.

Profile Image for Emma.
3,004 reviews354 followers
March 2, 2018
Picture this: You used to be a childhood prodigy. Member of an academic game team. You excelled in school. You were special. You met a girl named Katherine and the two of you started dating.

Then she dumps you.

Then eighteen more girls named Katherine dump you.

Suddenly, you're a teenager with no claim to fame except for your former status as a prodigy. No new ideas. No girl. No plans for the summer excepting wasting away in your room and moping.

This is not your life. But it is Colin Singleton's life immediately after his graduation from high school.

Given Colin's history with girls, you might not be surprised that John Green chose to name his second novel An Abundance of Katherines.

After sulking for several days after being dumped (again), Colin is dragged out of his room by Hasan, his best friend. Hassan is confident that the only cure for Colin's depression is a road trip. So Colin and his Judge-Judy-loving, overweight, Muslim pal head off for the great beyond that is the United States between the coasts. Their road trip stops in Gutshot, Tennessee. But the adventures don't. Hired by a local bigwig to compile an oral history of Gutshot, Colin and Hassan find themselves staying with Hollis and her daughter, Lindsey. It is in Gutshot that Colin finally has what he has always wanted, a truly original idea. Thus, Colin begins to create a theorem of love in his attempt to understand his own rocky love life.

Most of my friends who have read this book and Green's first novel Looking for Alaska agree that his second novel is not as compelling a read. Having only read "Katherines," I cannot make a judgment one way or the other. What I can say is that I loved the style of this book. There has been a growing trend to use footnotes in novels--notable examples include The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud, Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, and Ibid A Life by Mark Dunn which is a novel written entirely of endnotes. Green continues that tradition here to good effect.

The tone throughout is quirky, nerdy, and generally fun. I don't know that reading this novel will change any lives, but it will certainly get a lot of laughs. The best parts are, undoubtedly, the dialogues between Hassan and Colin. The guys are just so likable! In addition, Green's writing is snappy--all the better to keep the laughs coming.

Like Nothing but the Truth by Justina Chen Headley, this book includes a bit of math. The "real" math behind Colin's theorem appears in the back of the book in an appendix and Green even has a website where you can use the theorem for your own relationships (if it doesn't crash your computer). Despite all of that, Green is a self-proclaimed lost cause when it comes to math. (The theorem was drafted by friend (and "resident mathematician" for Brotherhood 2.0), Daniel Biss.) I wanted to share this for a couple of reasons. First, because I think it's great that Green is writing outside of what some might call his "comfort zone" and, second, because it should illustrate that you don't have to like math to enjoy a book that features a lot of math.

Anyway, if you need a cheerful book with some fun, lovable characters I don't think you can do better than this book which was recently nominated for the LA Times Book Award in addition to being selected as a Printz Award honor book (Looking for Alaska won the actual Printz Award, just to put that into perspective).

You can find this review and more on my blog Miss Print
Profile Image for Anna.
936 reviews104 followers
April 19, 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.
Profile Image for Scarlet.
187 reviews1,169 followers
March 10, 2013

Here are some things I’ve realized after reading AAoK:

1. John Green is a talented, clever writer with a great sense of humor.

2. Contrary to what I’d like to think, I’m still math-phobic.

3. I’ll never, ever date a has-been child prodigy. Or a washed-up genius. Or a whiny guy who speaks 11 languages. Or whatever it is that Colin’s supposed to be.

An Abundance of Katherines is a hilarious book but it did not make me laugh. Okay, maybe a little but that was more like snorting-in-mild-amusement than full-fledged laughing. I found the humor a little tiresome. But then, I’m the kind of girl who cracks up at things that normal people don’t find even remotely funny so maybe there’s something wrong with me and not the book.

AAoK has a nerdy, heartbroken hero (irritating), some cussing in Arabic (gets taxing after a while), jokes about man-boobs and fractured balls (not really my idea of humor), a lot of math (scary) that strangely looks interesting (I wouldn’t know for sure since I skipped those parts).

Colin really got on my nerves. Whining and theorem-making are not exactly things I’m fond of, and that’s all Colin does (in addition to spewing out random facts). I wish the narration was in first-person; it would have made things more interesting.

The footnotes were a relief. I loved them – even the ones that had math. In fact, they were my sole motivation for trudging through the pages.

This was my first John Green novel and well... I’m not terribly impressed. I hope TFioS and Looking for Alaska fare better.

I’ll leave you with one of those rare lines that actually made me laugh:

“He tried not to sob much, because the plain fact of the matter is that boy-sobbing is exceedingly unattractive. Lindsey said, “Let it out, let it out,” and then Colin said, “But I can’t, because if I let it out it’ll sound like a bullfrog’s mating call.” ”

Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,266 followers
April 15, 2015
So this was my first John Green book. I get his appeal in that he can create characters that, although very different from us, can somehow resonate with our emotions and experiences.

I ordered this book used on Amazon, and as luck would have it before when I got an autographed Rainbow Rowell book, I somehow was fortunate enough to score a first edition of this one:

Apparently, a first edition of one of his early books is a big deal, or so I’m told...

On to the story: we have a prodigy who has just graduated high school, was dumped, and makes his way on a road trip accompanied by his best friend. Our MC, Colin is struggling with two things: understanding his recent breakup and wanting to matter in the world. Being a prodigy (not a genius!) he believes that he can create a formula that will be able to predict how long any given relationship will last by inputting certain factors.

It’s this single-minded focus that blinds and consumes him. He becomes frustrated when all but one of his relationships fit into the formula.

Until he discovers that his recollection of that one relationship was all wrong. Soon he starts to realize that maybe he had been looking at all of them in that same way.

What resonated most with me about this story wasn’t the fact that Colin bemoaned his previous romances, but the fact that he wanted to matter; he wanted to contribute something to this world. He was a child prodigy and he plateaued and was now faced with living a mundane adulthood. I just wanted to say, “Bruh, I feel you on that. You have no idea.” And I think a lot of people who were once bright children, full of promise and possibility, will relate to Colin’s existential dilemma and the anxiety that comes with facing an ordinary life after an extraordinary childhood. Here we have a character about to enter college, on the precipice of entering the real world, knowing that the good years are behind him; he peaked too soon and now everything is a slow downhill crawl towards death.

But there’s hope in Colin’s story. He breaks the cycle of only dating Katherines and hooks up with the hot chick like the end of a John Hughes film. Maybe the future isn’t so bleak for him after all.
Profile Image for TheGirlFromSmallville ❀.
232 reviews112 followers
February 1, 2021
Yup. I'm still not a John Green fan.

One thing I have noticed about the characters John Green creates in his novels: they're too quirky, they're smart (this one in particular has an overly smart character) and they talk in quips. NOBODY TALKS LIKE THAT IN REAL LIFE. At least not all the time. I think this is John's way of incorporating himself into his books.

Most YA readers see John Green as the best author ever, but his books are not that unique and his characters are the same with a few minor tweaks. I just don't get the hype.

However, there were some memorable parts of this book that makes it unique: Tangents and footnotes. I thought that was a very clever addition that screamed Colin. I did NOT like the repetitiveness of the word fug and the name Katherine. I now hate that name thanks to this book. Overall, this book was just sooo hard to get into... I had to force myself to keep reading hoping it will get better. Instead, this just wasted my time. I could have been reading a book more enjoyable than this one during my break. Sighhhh.

I guess I expected so much but got a mediocre, predictable read from an author who is labelled as one of the best in YA.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,482 reviews7,779 followers
March 17, 2015
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I may be one thousand years old, but I still love John Green books.

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I read An Abundance of Katherines before I even knew who John Green was. Remember - I’m 1,000, so cut me some slack people! Over the past several years it has come to my attention that almost everyone else considers this to be the lesser of all of the Green works, which had me questioning my mental state (or whether or not I was intoxicated) the first time I read this book.

Okay, so I’ll grant you the premise is kinda snooze-a-rific. I mean, a former child prodigy who has been dumped by 19 chicks named Katherine who wants to develop something like this . . .

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(*hooooooark* Ugh – just looking at that math gives me dry heaves)

in order to be able to predict who will be the dumper (or dumpee) in any relationship and when said relationship will end is not the most exciting story to be told.

And maybe Colin was a sitzpinkling anagramming weirdo who moped around feeling miserable about getting dumped by the umpteenth Katherine in his life, but without him I would have never had a chance to meet Hassan. Oh Hassan! I’m pretty sure he’ll go down in history as one of my favorite supporting pals. He completely stole the show. If you’ve not yet read Katherines, think of Hassan as younger, less dickholey, and more Muslim version of Trent from Swingers . . .

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Hassan is a riot, he can woo the ladies without even trying, and he refers to himself occasionally as “Daddy.” He’s the only person who was able to stop Colin from “lying facedown on the carpet” . . .

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and was the driving force in this story behind my most favorite of all plotlines . . .

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Man I love road trips!

If I were to be 100% honest, Katherines might not be deserving of all 5 Stars this second time around. . . but I’m not changing the rating. I love this book unapologetically and it’s still my favorite John Green – even if I’m the only one who feels that way. If nothing else, this book gave the world the following quote:

“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.”

And that may be good enough for a ½ Star bump on its own.

Maybe Colin wasn’t a “relatable teenager” (whatever the F that means), but at least he admitted that Holden Caulfield was a self-absorbed loser. My generation grew up with a different John who wrote characters like these . . .

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John Green is this generation’s John Hughes and everyone should taste a bit of his Kool-Aid.

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You know the old saying: “Once you go Green, you never go back” . . . or something like that.

Oh and one more thing. I am freaking STARVING for a Monster Thickburger after reading this book. F you, Hassan!

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(One billion calories and I could die of an insta-heart attack upon eating it? WORTH IT!)
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
September 1, 2020
An Abundance of Katherines, John Green

An Abundance of Katherines is a young adult novel by John Green. Released in 2006.

Colin Singleton, a child prodigy, fears he will not maintain his genius as an adult. Over the span of his life, Colin has dated nineteen girls named Katherine, all spelled in that manner. After being dumped by his girlfriend, Katherine XIX, Colin is longing to feel whole, and longing to matter. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیستم ماه سپتامبر سال 2018 میلادی

عنوان: وفور کاترین‌ها؛ نویسنده: جان گرین؛ مترجم آرمان آیت‌اللهی؛ تهران آموت، ‏‫‬‏1396؛ در 288ص (296) ص؛ شابک 9786003840744؛

نقل از پشت جلد کتاب فراوانی (وفور) کاترینها: «در روابط دختر پسری، هرکسی از یک تیپ آدمی خوشش می‌آید.؛ تیپ مورد علاقه ی «کالین سینگلتون»، شخصیتی، اخلاقی یا حتی ظاهری نیست؛ لغوی است! او از «کاترین»ها خوشش می‌آید.؛ ولی پس از اینکه نوزدهمین «کاترین» زندگیش هم، با او به هم می‌زند، تصمیم می‌گیرد انقلابی در روابط عاشقانه به پا کند...»؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 10/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,142 reviews3,566 followers
February 23, 2020
Lovely romantic novel!


This is a truly entertaining tale of Colin Singleton, a 17-years old boy, with an IQ over 200 but he's not the kind of genius like to get into college at 6 years old (at least, it was advised to his parents not to push him to do it) and having a kinda normal youth, where his only friend is Hassan Harbish, who is truly important to Colin, since Hassan is his only anchor to try to understand how the world works and how the rest of people really is doing,...


...in the matter of romance, Colin has doing pretty good on his own, since he has 19 Katherines as girlfriends so far, since he's convinced that an intrisic requirement to consider a girl as a potential girlfriend is being named "Katherine" (precisely in that way, not any kind of variation or different spelling)...

...and the 19th Katherine (or in his own words "Katherine XIX") breaks up with him and Colin is not sure why, while he is already comfortable with the unavoidable fact that sooner or later, he will break up with a Katherine (he even has a math theorem for that)...

...so, he needs to make a road trip (along with his good friend Hassan) after the last Katherine (XIX) and ask her face-to-face why they really break up...


...the reason of World War I (yes, I know that now sounds weird, but you'll get it once read it) will cause an unpredictable detour and stop in their journey...

...making Colin and even Hassan that life offers them more than they could imagine and they can't force fate or manipulated or even fit it in a math formula...

...but recognize it once it's in front of them.

Profile Image for Cory.
Author 1 book399 followers
December 4, 2013
I've had this book sitting on my desk for two months. I'm a huge John Green fan, so you can see why this is problematic.

The Albuquerque library system is pretty bad. Out of all the libraries systems I've ever used, this has to be the worst. Not only does it not stock any of Justine Larbalestier's books, but it also doesn't have a decent collection of John Green's books.

It took me three months to get a copy of An Abundance of Katherines. It took me two months to finish it. Actually, that's a lie. I haven't finished AAoK. I'll probably never finish AAoK. But for the purpose of this review, I've read the entire novel and wasn't satisfied in the least.

Everyone knows that John Green uses a formula. Like Sarah Dessen, most of his protagonists are the same character with different hobbies and quirks. Colin is Miles and Miles is Quentin -- only Colin likes anagramming words instead of memorizing last words. Colin, like Miles, is annoying. He only exists for the story to be funneled through him.

John Green's protagonists are a beacon of hope for nerds everywhere in the world. While you may be unable to get a date with that hot, unattainable girl, Colin, Miles, and Quentin have dated enough hot girls to last you a lifetime -- or at least until John Green writes another book.

His books are full of double standards. Like Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, John Green claims to present something alternative. This is a lie. The only thing that separates this from any other YA book is that our main character doesn't go through a make-over. Instead, he is accepted by the flawless pretty heroine for no reason whatsoever

Why can't Lindsey or Margo or Alaska be anything less than gorgeous? Why can't they have goals outside of being with the protagonist? I like Looking for Alaska, but I think it's important to analyze these things.

As a hero, Colin fails. Not only was I disappointed with the 3rd person narration, but I also felt like Colin lacked a soul. He wasn't a full developed character. He was a collection of quirks. I felt the same way about Miles, but at least his flaws were hidden by a cast of interesting characters.

As a supporting character, Hassan failed in every way that Takumi and the Colonel triumphed. Takumi didn't feel like the token Asian. Hassan was without a doubt the token Arab. Hassan wasn't funny. He lacked warmth. He was just there to make bad jokes. His use of random Arabic or German was annoying. Every time he said 'kafir' or 'sitzpinkler' I rolled my eyes. Have we really gone back to the time when Mexican characters dropped random bits of Spanish into their sentences?

Also, I didn't appreciate how his weight was used as a plot device. No, I'm not misusing that phrase. Hassan was fat for the same reason that all multi-cultural best friends are geeky, over-weight, and unappealing. It was very obvious that Green was writing for white hipster males.

As a love interest, Lindsey just wasn't interesting. She paled in comparison to Alaska. A manic pixie must be manic, intriguing, and flawed. Lindsey wasn't. By the time she was finally introduced, I was hoping that Colin would get back with Katherine the Great. At least he would have stopped whining.

The romance between Colin and Lindsey was yawn worthy. Even from the flashbacks, whatever Colin had with Katherine the Great moved me ten times as much. Lindsey had no personality outside of being friendly and cute.

While the summary says this is a road trip, that is a lie. The road trip ends very quickly. The rest of the book is spent in Tennessee. Conveniently, much like Alaska, Lindsey has no accent. But she is able to put one on in the blink of an eye.

There is no plot in this book. There is no climax. If anything, it felt like a writing exercise. We knew that Colin was going to end up with Lindsey. We knew that Hassan wasn't going to keep his girlfriend. This was too predictable, even for Green.

I didn't mind the math, but it was only there to prove that Colin was smart. I didn't believe that he was a prodigy. He seemed like one of those whiny gifted kids that complain about being smart when in reality they're just idiots.

I recommend skipping everything but the flashbacks. You don't need to read the rest of the story. Like the title says, this is An Abundance of Katherines, and Katherine is the only good thing about it.

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
February 12, 2018
Changing my rating from 2 stars to 1 star because every time I rewrite or add something to this review I'm instantly annoyed all over again.

Okay, so this is the third time I'm going to rewrite this review. Then I'm going to walk away from it forever and not look back once.

An Abundance of Katherines follows Collin Singleton, who has a very specific type of dream girl. Well, I guess not really since he only really likes girls named Katherine. I don't think he really cares what they look like. It's like he's instantly sold on the girl because of her name. If that doesn't creep you out then I have no idea what the hell will.

He has dated about 19 girls all named Katherine. You'd think after being dumped 19ish times that he would give up on the name and move on. Nope, so he randomly goes on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. I have no idea why they did this all of a sudden but the trip didn't make me like his character anymore than I originally did.

Yes, he sees and learns new things. However, this entire trip, NAH the whole damn book, was constantly repetitive. I didn't think I would grow to hate words while reading a book. Yet, John Green has done that thing - so, uh thanks?

Then there's math part of this book. Okay, it's a formula that will somehow predict when two people will break up. I almost laughed when I wrote that sentence.. WHY? Because the future is unpredictable and it took Collin basically the whole book to figure that out and then to accept it.


Besides him obsessing over the name Katherine, he's annoying from start to finish of this book. He is constantly whining and it just annoyed me while reading. Even though he "changes" from this road trip he's still a twat to me.

Overall, I didn't like this book. I also didn't like that I kept changing this review so many times. I didn't connect with any of the characters. Hell, I'm proud of all the Katherine's in the world that dumped him for his crazy obsession. I hope this guy sees a psychiatrist or something. He really needs one.

I will never, repeat NEVER, reread this book ever again.
I will never rewrite this review ever again.

I'm done with this book FOREVER guys. I'm completely done with everything that it's about. Am I done with John Green? Maybe. Who knows?
Profile Image for Jeff.
143 reviews404 followers
October 20, 2017

So yeah, I got a couple laughs in the beginning.... nah i laughed like a bull and almost choked on my water -_-

But really, I'm about a third of the way through and I honestly have no idea what's going on.


Because all there was in this book, was a love sick boy who just couldn't get his damn feelings in check.

Uh......SAY WHAAAA?????!!!!

Yeah, you could probably already tell by the title of this book.
So of course, this book starts off with him breaking up with his girlfriend, Katherine. (whoa really, what a surprise!)

Colin decides to go on a road trip.

**Readers, if ur at this point, and you can still understand what I'm talking about, congratulations. You have a brilliant mind.**

And from here, it's endless pages of words, words and more words.
Like...he plops his butt in a car, takes off, and we're somehow supposed to be entertained by this.


Hilarious. *internally screams*
Enjoy readers.
Profile Image for LENA TRAK.
129 reviews111 followers
July 1, 2018
I'll probably be dead by morning for daring to write this about one of Green's books but boy did I loathe this book... 1,5 stars just because I enjoyed the first 40 pages and because I can't help loving John Green.

Okay if this book was like 500 pages long I would have quit. Fortunately, it was a short read. This is the second time I've read Green and I cannot say I was impressed with this one. I'm sure I'll take pleasure in reading the rest of his books though(I was lucky enough to read The Fault in Our Stars which is one of my favourites). I had been warned that this was not a tantamount to the Fault in our Stars but I didn't see this coming.

Even though the book is based on a good premise (nerd prodigy gets dumped by no less than 19 Katherines), there is absolutely no plot and I was unable to identify with any of the characters. I didn't like Colin (which was a real shock for me- being a nerd fan, having been a nerd myself, quoting Sheldon Coopen 24/7). He is too annoying and too self-centered for my likes. Also the ending is so predictable I wanted to kill myself once I got to the final chapter. I found the footnotes extremely distracting and utterly absurd and I hated the Math thing. Really John? Math??? Formulas? I often do the same mistake. I come across a book I like, I fall in love with the author and then I just go on to read other books by the same author. Big mistake, but I never learn. I've already purchased Looking For Alaska and I can't wait to start reading it(See? I never learn). Hopefully this one will live up to my expectations and I'll get the chance to see some of Green's great sense of humor and wit again.

If you plan to read John Green I wouldn't recommend this book. To my mind, this felt like a waste of time. It certainly didn't make me a better person nor made me laugh. And it most certainly didn't help me overcome my Math phobia.
Profile Image for Charmel.
183 reviews424 followers
March 7, 2021
crappy and a waste of my time.

i can't stand the hungry-for-a-girlfriend-main-character, stfu.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,406 reviews11.7k followers
October 11, 2009
If you are familiar with John Green, you probably already know his winning formula: a nerdy nice guy with a funny side-kick best friend, meets and falls in love with a mysterious popular but ultimately unhappy girl, then some kind of road trip ensues during which a life altering realization is achieved.

"An Abundance of Katherines" is no exception. Only this time the nerdy guy (Colin) is not that endearing (unlike Miles in "Looking For Alaska" or Quentin in "Paper Town"), the funny side-kick (Hassan) is not that funny, and the mysterious girl is not that mysterious or witty (compare Lindsey to Alaska and Margo). The 3rd person narration also doesn't help the cause. I think this kind of POV makes Colin unrelatable and exposes him for what he really is - a self-centered insecure super nerdy nerd whose head is full of theorems, anagrams, and numerous random facts. At some point you can't help but start thinking that if you were dating Colin, you'd break up with him just like all of his 19 ex-Katherines.

In spite of all the flaws, the book is still moderately entertaining, the story picks up significantly in the end. And unlike "Looking For Alaska" and "Paper Towns" it has a satisfying happy (for a change) ending. "An Abundance of Katherines" is a decent read, just not as good as other John Green's books.

Reading challenge: #1 - A
Profile Image for ily .
455 reviews632 followers
July 5, 2015
This book is ABSURD. The main character is some quirky prodigy kid who gets dumped by girls named Katherines. He goes on about some non-sense theory who might help him predict future relationships. He is smart, loves anagrams, and uses words no other teenager has ever heard of. You know what?

Profile Image for Madeline.
781 reviews47.2k followers
March 13, 2010
One of my roommates is a huge John Green fan, and after first introducing me to the series of videos he does with his brother (search "vlogbrothers" on Youtube or just watch this one), she told me that I should probably read some of his books. She suggested An Abundance of Katherines to start with, maintaining that it's better than Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. (incidentally, can anyone verify/disprove this claim? Just wondering)

So I read it, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it. And since I've been watching Vlogbrothers videos for at least two months now, it felt less like I was was reading some random book and more like I was reading something written by someone I actually knew. Which, I'll be honest, was a little weird. But cool.

Anyway, the book is fun, kind of silly, full of very interesting footnotes and math, and pretty damn funny. Some other reviewers have complained about the main character, Colin, but I always enjoy a socially handicapped former child prodigy. And if that socially awkward former child prodigy happens to have dated (and been dumped by) eighteen girls named Katherine and insists at one point "Love is graphable!", so much the better. His narration is also very fun.

"When he exited the bathroom, his parents were sitting together on his bed. It was never a good sign when both his parents were in his room at the same time. Over the years it had meant:
1. Your grandmother/grandfather/Aunt-Suzie-whom-you-never-met-but-trust-me-she-was-nice-and-it's-a-shame is dead.
2. You're letting a girl named Katherine distract you from your studies.
3. Babies are made through an act that you will eventually find intriguing but for right now will just sort of horrify you, and also sometimes people do stuff that involves baby-making parts that does not actually involve making babies, like for instance kiss each other in places that are not on the face.
It never meant:
4. A girl nmaed Katherine called while you were in the bathtub. She's sorry. She still loves you and has made a terrible mistake and is waiting for you downstairs."
Profile Image for emma.
1,869 reviews54.5k followers
December 9, 2021
approximately every other week, i have to embark on a john green rant.

i have never missed this occasion, and quite frankly i am scared of the potential consequences if i do. will i combust? will i lose my ability to speak? will i be doomed forever after to pepper every sentence with complaints about pretentious writing and manic pixie dream girls and the most stilted dialogue you've ever heard in your life?

i don't know. but i'm not willing to find out.

so as i was indulging in the aforementioned Hater's Speech recently, the unfortunate witness to the event said, very coolly and casually, that An Abundance of Katherines was their favorite john green book.

for a second, i was flabbergasted to the point of speechlessness (which i assume was a mercy to the person who was having to listen to me). then i realized that because this individual has zero presence in the book community, they didn't even know how crazy this was to say.

when i said, "you don't even know what an unpopular opinion that is. that's his least popular by a country mile," that genius replied the following:

"maybe that's why i like it. it's the least john green-y john green book."

you win this round, person.

this was my first john green book, and i read it before i had any awareness of who he was or who he would become. for that reason, instead of joining the company of its siblings, who are my literary enemies, it remained among a series of mediocre and interchangeable young adult contemporaries i checked out from my local library in huge number every summer for my entire childhood and preteendom.

and that is a much better gathering than the john green canon, it should go without saying.

i'll take mediocre over reprehensible any day of my life.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago and make myself, and probably many others, upset for no reason
Profile Image for Baba.
3,619 reviews985 followers
October 4, 2020
Colin Singleton (yes, that is his real surname), a six foot plus slim prodigy has had his heart broken by Katherine, who also happens to be the 19th successive Katherine he has dated! With his best friend and burger addict the rotund American Muslin Hassan, they go on a road trip, one that gets as far as small town of Gutsho, Tennessee. An interesting tale of attraction, anagrams, spoken history and Katherines! You can see the potential for his hit The Fault in Our Stars, but having read that first, this feels like a warm-up. 7 out of 12
Profile Image for Nicole.
749 reviews1,935 followers
May 25, 2021
Even John Green can't get foreign languages right *sighs in Arabic disappointment*
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