Sunday, January 20, 2013

Book #84: An Abundance of Katherines

Book #84: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
4/5 stars

Yes, another John Green novel! Gah I love this man. If you haven't read one of his novels yet...really...what are you doing with your life? Go to your local bookstore, library, anything, and find one of his novels asap. He will change your life. =)This is the fourth book I have read by Green out of his five currently published novels. It was not my favorite of his (The Fault in Our Stars was), but it was still an enjoyable read nonetheless. Once again, Green introduces quirky, unique characters that make him stand out, not only in the YA world, but overall as a great author.

The story follows Colin, a recent high school graduate, and child prodigy, though not a genius (yes, there is a difference!). In order to become a genius, and give his life a little more meaning, he is searching for a "Eureka!" moment, that will change everything. Oh, and another quirk: he only dates girls named Katherine. Not Katie, and definitely not Catherine, only Katherine. As of his latest breakup, he has dated 19 girls named Katherine. And they have all dumped him.

Reeling from his most recent breakup, Colin agrees to go on a road trip with Hassan, his funny, Muslim best friend who is just a little obsessed with Judge Judy. Talk about quirky. However, their road trip is cut short when they encounter Lindsay Lee Wells in Gutshot, Tennessee, also known as the middle of nowhere. The boys soon become friends with Lindsay, and are offered summer jobs working for her mother, Hollis. As Colin starts to become attracted to Lindsay, he struggles with the fact that not only is she dating a jerk also named Colin, but that she is not a Katherine. This leads him to a "Eureka!" moment, that causes him to spend his summer trying to come up with a theorem that explains his relationships with Katherines, and people's relationships in general. But their summer (and the novel) doesn't spend its entirety involved with the Theorem, no worries. The three friends get up to plenty of adventures, including hunting wild hogs, and interviewing all kinds of crazy characters to learn about their lives in Gutshot.

The Theorem is probably what caused me to not love this particular novel as much as Green's others, but it was still in Green's own class, so different from other YA novels. The characters are unpredictable, strange, and lovable, and the plots are different, often hilarious, and heartfelt. I admire Green for exploring such a different idea in this novel, while still maintaining his recognizable style. If you haven't experienced John Green's work yet, I'd suggest starting with his first novel, Looking for Alaska, but definitely take the time to check this one out as well for a light, funny story about a crazy group of friends and their unpredictable summer.

What I'm reading now...

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (classic)

2. How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan (YA short stories)

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