Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Posted February 5, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John GreenAn Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Published by Dutton Juvenile on September 21st, 2006
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 227
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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. He’s also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend.

Colin’s on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl. Letting expectations go and allowing love in are at the heart of Colin’s hilarious quest to find his missing piece and avenge dumpees everywhere.

3 Stars

Hmm. An Abundance of Katherines is good. It’s enjoyable. In many ways I related to the main character. The application of math to romance was definitely an interesting concept. Ultimately, though, it’s not too memorable.

The main character, Colin, is a washed up child prodigy, scared he has passed his peak and will not be able to leave his mark on the world. After he is dumped by the nineteenth Katherine he’s dated, he goes on a road trip with his only friend Hassan to recover. He reaches his eureka moment and figures he can matter to the world by proving The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which would accurately predict who ends a relationship and when. I love this concept of being so stubborn to think that you can apply math to love.

Colin, understandably, has an interesting and unique personality that perhaps only John Green’s writing style can do justice. The book is written in a very unique way with a lot of footnotes to expand on Colin’s thoughts. Fitting, because as a prodigy, he frequently goes off on tangents concerning the information he finds interesting. Sometimes, however, it did get a bit annoying with my e-reader to have to flip back and forth. Overall it’s very engaging to read – I am once again impressed by how distinctive and real John makes his characters sound. He really brings out these unique voices in a very special way.

Ultimately, the story concludes with the revelation that you can’t predict the future but you can constantly reinvent yourself. For some reason, I expected a much deeper message than something so simple. Maybe my expectations for John Green were simply too high after I finished The Fault in Our Stars. But it wasn’t an impressive message to me.

Summing Up:

So, while I really enjoyed the story and can barely think of something really negative to say about it, the novel never really struck a deeper chord with me. I didn’t connect too much with the characters and therefore, ultimately, this isn’t the self-discovery novel that will stay with me for the years to come. For some reason, the blurb made me expect the book to have a much greater impact on me than it actually did. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great book. It’s enjoyable, light, romantic, uplifting, and true to John Green’s lovely writing style.

Recommended To:

Fans of coming-of-age contemporary novels.

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9 responses to “Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

  1. Uh oh! The first John Green book I’ve ever read was The Fault in Our Stars which as you know was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Hopefully his other novels will be able to live up to that one piece of work. Great review! I look forward to adding this to my reading list.

    • Yeah, I think we who just hopped on the John Green bandwagon are at a bit of a disadvantage. I’m scared now that none of his books will live up to TFIOS though I have a bit of hope left for Looking for Alaska. I hope you like this one more than I did 🙂

    • I thought with the concept it would hit super close to home and be my second favorite, which is why it’s my second to read… Oh well, I’m definitely reading the rest as well, so I suppose we’ll see.

      I hate the thought though that I’m being overly critical because I loved TFIOS so much… 🙁


  2. I’ve yet to read a John Green book that even comes close to TFiOS. All his pre-Fault stuff starts to blend together. Seriously, every one of his other books features the smart, nerdy kid, funny sidekick BFF, and unattainable girl, with some underwhelming life-lesson to wrap it up. I adore John Green, but I’ve had to face reality and admit that he’s kind of a stilted author. Though I haven’t read this one or Will Grayson, Will Grayson yet.

    If you want to take another dip into John Green’s work, I’d suggest Looking For Alaska. It follows the aforementioned formula, but it was his debut so it still has a fresh-ish feel to it.

    • Aww, that really makes me sad 🙁 but that is kind of the feeling I had here. I wanted so badly to like it as much as TFIOS but… *sigh* I hope his next one manages to be unique and better than this one.

      Yes, Looking for Alaska is definitely next on my list. I think that one might still have a shot at impressing me. More than Paper Towns I guess. Though I will be reading all of them at some point.

  3. Hi!
    I did not know this book.
    I have read another book by the author “Bajo la misma estrella” which is published in Spanish.
    I also read Looking for Alaska
    I follow your blog. I’m from Spain, so sorry for my english, xD.

    • Hi!! Thanks for coming by my blog!

      I loved the Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska is definitely next on my list for John Green books 🙂