Monday, June 4, 2012

Something About Her • An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines book cover
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: October 16, 2008
Source/Format: Bought || Paperback

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is 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, washedup 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.


The thing about John Green novels, for me personally, is that I have to be in the right frame of mind to read them. It just so happened that one day, fairly recently, I felt the urge to pick up AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES. It shouldn't come as a surprise then that I ended up absolutely loving it! This is the second John Green novel that I've read, and it's certainly my favorite of the two so far. With a story that's interesting and characters that I ended up loving, AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES is a fine example of a story that you can sink your teeth in.

The Characters

Colin Singleton is a prodigy, although he'd probably make expressly sure to clarify that he means a "child prodigy" and nothing but that. He longs to make a mark in the world, while at the same time harboring a fascination with girls named Katherine. It's a bit crazy when one attempts to follow his thought process, but I thought it was invigorating and interesting to try and understand who he is and how he's feeling.

The Story

The story is technically all about Colin's journey, although his best friend Hassan and his new friend Lindsey also have some moments of realization of their very own. I enjoyed following along as Colin tries to discover how to deal with the loss of his latest Katherine, as well as figuring out what his place and purpose in the world is.

I loved the inclusion of footnotes. Though it may seem a bit nerdy, I thought they were a great way to explain certain terms and points in the story without making the actual narrative too wordy.

The Bottom Line

It's always difficult to truly explain a John Green book. For me, it's best if you read it and experience it for yourself. I'd definitely recommend AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES - it's my newest favorite JOHN GREEN book, although there's one coming up that's supposedly going to blow this out of the water (*coughs* A FAULT IN OUR STARS *coughs*).

Book Quotes

Although I don't do this for every single book I read, the quotes in this book are just too awesome to pass up. So here are a few of my favorites:

"...maybe stories don't just make us matter to each other - maybe they're also the only way to the infinite mattering he'd been after for so long."

"Even if it's a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward - ever smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter - maybe less than a lot but always more than none."


"I feel like, like, how you matter is defined by the things that matter to you. You matter as much as the things that matter to you do. And I got so backwards, trying to make myself matter to him. All this time, there were real things to care about: real, good people who care about me, and this place. It's so easy to get stuck. You just get caught in being something, being special or cool or whatever, to the point where you don't even know why you need it; you just think you do."

"People are supposed to care. It's good that people mean something to you, that you miss people when they're gone.

"The French verb aimer has two meanings. And that's why he liked her, and loved her. She spoke to him in a language that, no matter how hard you studied it, could not be completely understood."

"... there's some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what."

"You can love someone so much, he thought. But you can never love people as much as you can miss them."

"Here's the thing about storytelling: you need a beginning, and a middle, and an end."

"It was, he thought, just like how authors always wrote things in ways other than how they actually happened. Authors never included the whole story; they just got to the point."

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

7 comments:

  1. This was a great book! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) I think you're right ... a person really does have to be in a certain mood to read John Green. I've been putting off The Fault in Our Stars for that reason ... I think I need to make sure it's a beautiful day and I have plenty of time to read. :)

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  2. Great review, hun! I want to read all of John Green's books and I will definitely try to read this one this year!

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  3. Oh, I'm glad this was good! It sounded really interesting :)

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  4. Ah. I just can't do this book. I tried and I could barely get 50 pages in. I think we went out to dinner around the time I was reading it & I really don't think I'll go back to try it. I'm glad you were patient though and you liked it. haha. That's why reading is so amazing. It's an entirely different experience for everyone. I missed you & your reviews! xo

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  5. Nice review :) Here's mine: http://lorxiebookreviews.blogspot.com/2012/06/abundance-of-katherines-by-john-green.html Have a nice day!

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  6. I actually thought of you when I picked it up. I wasn't sure why, but I was particularly drawn to this one... so I thought I'd give it a try. I agree that one of the things I love about reading is how one book can elicit different reactions from people.


    I've missed you and Magan too! See you again soon <3

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  7. I feel like I need to be in a certain mindset to really enjoy a John Green book, so I'm waiting until that happens before I read the next book I want to try from him ;)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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