Friday, August 17, 2012

40. An Abundance Of Katherines

Book#40: An Abundance Of Katherines
Author: John Green
Published: September 21, 2006
227 Pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

There's just something about John Green that makes me want more. I wish he already had a vast collection of books so I could continue to read his wonderful words and playful plots. He captured my heart with Looking For Alaska (and broke it all at once) His prose describes the teenage mind perfectly. The range of emotions they feel, the way everything matters the most in the world and the way they love without defeat. Alaska Young put a spell on me, then Margo Roth Spiegelman in Paper Towns made me follow her into an abyss. There are no words for how I feel about Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters from That Fault In Our Stars (i.e. they are perfection) And now Colin Singleton, a teenage ex-prodigy that has a thing for girls named Katherine (yet it is Lindsey Lee Wells that takes my heart in this one)

What Green does best is that every book has a completely different feel to it even though the themes are mainly the same. Every book is about teenagers trying to find out who they are and where they belong, but not one is the same. Yes Margo was similar to Alaska, but they still both had unique goals and perpsectives. What I love about ABOK is that you see brand new characters (Green's third novel) Colin and his best friend Hassan are unlike any guys he's written. Colin was a child prodigy and his favourite thing is to anagram words. He can do math like it's nobody's business and he remembers everything he reads or sees. Hassan is a swearing Muslim who's main goal in life is to watch TV and make sure Colin doesn't get his heart broken by another Katherine. When Katherine 19 breaks Colin's heart, Hassan decides it calls for a road trip. The boys end up in a small town in Tennessee where Colin tries to perfect his theorem of predicting relationships. There they meet Lindsey Lee Wells and with the help of her mom, land summer jobs that teach all them more than they ever thought it could. 

One of my favourite parts of this book was the use of footnotes. I'm a sucker for footnotes. It connects me with what I'm reading and gives me more insight into certain character's minds. Whenever Hassan said something in Muslim, it was translated below. Whenever Colin said a random fact that Hassan could care less about, the fact was identified and told in full in the footnotes. Green added a hilarious touch throughout the book, promising no more math than putting math in, or stating a fact to give us some dramatic irony. If I could figure out how to put footnotes in this post, I would, because that's how much I love them.

The experiences in the book are unique yet exactly the type of things teenagers end up going through. The random road trip, falling in love, finding out that you are not who you thought you were, these are all themes that we know and love and Green takes them to a whole other level. His words jump off the page and you become one of Colin's friends, sitting beside him in the car, crying with him over another Katherine and hoping he ends up with a Lindsey instead. John Green can write as many books as his heart desires because please, oh please, I need more!

“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.”

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

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