“Colin Singleton’s type was not physical but linguistic: he liked Katherines. And not Katies or Kats or Kitties or Cathys or Rynns or Trinas or Kays or Kates or, god forbid, Catherines. K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E. He had dated 19 girls. All of them had been named Katherine. And all of them- every single solitary one- had dumped him.”
– John Green, An Abundance of Katherine’s
An Abundance of Katherine’s was the first John Green book I ever read. It was also the first book I owned that had my name in the title! And what a laugh I had when I realised that this book wasn’t about just one Katherine… no, it was about 19 of them!
Colin Singleton is a child prodigy and wannabe genius. When it comes to girls, Colin has a particular preference; he likes girls called Katherine (and why shouldn’t he, we’re awesome)! The only problem is, he has been dumped by all nineteen of the Katherine’s he has managed to date! When it ends with K-19, Colin and his friend Hassan embark on a road trip so that Colin can find his ‘eureka’ moment (that will officially make him a genius) and find the equation to The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. The theorem will supposedly predict when and how two people will break up. However, the flaw in Colin’s plan is that the equation can only work with the past, not predict the future. Like all road trips, they are usually eventful and completely unpredictable!
What I love most about John Green is the way he puts his characters together. Colin isn’t the most likeable person; he is egotistical and self-centred and rather pretentious. He assumes that his intelligence makes him better than everyone else. Green’s strength isn’t always in his main characters but the supporting cast. Colin’s friend Hassan is the usual best-friend whose unusual and self-deprecating sense of humour shows a side to Colin that he doesn’t show on his own. Lindsay is also an important character as the revelations and messages usually come from her. Together, they make for some fabulous reading!
Green is kind to his characters when the harsh realities of life finally make sense to them. The messages in this book could come across as cheesy in the hands of some authors but Green’s understanding of teens – particularly those on the nerdier/ quirkier side of life – allows him to keep the tone light and friendly. When Colin finally works out that the world doesn’t revolve around him, he is satisfied that he can be happy without making sense of every little thing that happens. If The Fault in Our Stars is my favourite Green novel, this one comes in at a very close second! Go Katherines!!