An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
Did I whet your appetite for literary YA last week? Maybe even some John Green? I really enjoyed starting with Looking for Alaska, but it’s a real toss-up whether I like that one or this one better.
An Abundance of Katherines is the story of child prodigy, Colin Singleton, who by the very virtue of being a prodigy, fears he will never be a genius (there’s a difference). He also has a proclivity for making up anagrams and getting dumped by girls named Katherine.
After getting dumped for the nineteenth time, Colin heads out on a road trip with his best friend, the lazy jokester, man-boobed Hassan. Along the way, he attempts to derive a theorem to explain and predict relationships, hoping to thereby protect himself against all future Katherines and prove himself a genius. As you can imagine, not all goes to plan and the real test comes in learning to let go.
This book is chock full of excellent quotes too. Like:
“You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”
“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
“If people could see me the way I see myself – if they could live in my memories – would anyone love me?”
“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.”
I turned my hubby on to the John Green books too and this one was definitely his favorite. I think it really resonated with him in unexpected ways. Reading through reviews on Goodreads, I found people had mixed responses to it – which makes me think John Green is much like Paolo Coehlo: he writes straight to the heart, but each book captures a different essence of experience, so the one that resonates most with you is the one that captures your experience. If you like laughable, light-hearted, yet touching nerdisms, this might be your kind of book.