An abundance of Katherines by John Green


Book Name: An abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Pages: 215

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Format: Paperback checked out from the local library

GoodReads’ Words: Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
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. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up 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.

My Words: John Green just amazes me! Ever since I read The Fault in our stars, I fell in love with John Green’s writing. After I found out about the vlogBrothers, I can’t stop admiring and idolizing John and Hank Green. And I absolutely cannot stop gushing about An abundance of Katherines, since I have read it!

AAOK is the story of a child prodigy – Colin and his journey toward finding himself. From where I look at it, this book throws light on the way people try to cope up with the harsh realities in life, in this case, a geeky nerdy boy who is disliked by everyone in his class and who thinks that he will matter only if he can prove to be a genius by making a discovery….Oh and also who gets dumped by 19 Katherines!(A little neverland-ly?)  Then there is Lindsey who thinks she was ugly and unlikeable and so to overcome getting bullied by her classmates, she changes her outlook and her exterior in order to blend. She is a self-proclaimed chameleon who changes how she sounds and how she acts depending on who she is talking to at the time. She never wants to leave her small town, yet she seems more worldly than Colin. Hassan is a Judge-Judy-loving, overweight, Muslim pal of Colin’s who people like immediately by reciting funny jokes and who does not want to do anything – does not want to work or study. He is the loyal Horatio to Colin’s Hamlet.

In their zeal to get people like them, they lose sight of all the things that do matter about themselves. And it takes a road trip, shooting a hornet’s nest (then getting 8 stinging bites!), getting into a fight, confronting each other with blatant judgements, discovering a relationship theorem and processing acts of selflessness for the enlightenment to set in.

I loved the style of this book. There are flashbacks, footnotes and even mathematical formulae! And yet this book is not at all boring! In fact the Nerdisms keep the story interesting. All the anagrams and history lessons are more than fun. The book is at best nerdy and quirky. The best parts are, undoubtedly, the dialogues between Hassan and Colin. The guys are just so likable! In addition, Green’s writing is snappy–all the better to keep the laughs coming.

The math bit is a big part of the book. I just have to say this, though – I hate maths. I was fairly good at it but I hated it in school and hate it now. So I have to admit I skipped through the math parts in the book. But have to say that Daniel Biss is a real genius for he has worked out a mathematical formula to satisfy the relationship theorem in John’s book. The math formula has been explained in detail in the appendix section of the book, which also, I have ignored 😛

The message that this book gives out is that of hope when not understanding the need of hope (I hope that makes sense). Made me remember about the movie Kung Fu Panda wherein Po has to find the secret to “limitless power” hidden inside the dragon scroll.

I have to admit though, that The fault in our stars is still the No.1 book on my John Green list. But AAOK is – in John’s own words –

unique(french and english),
único (spanish),
уникальный (russian),
μοναδικός (greek),

😉 If you are fine with nerdy, geeky stuff or if you like Sheldon and Leonard then you won’t be disappointed by this book. And even if you don’t like the aforementioned, just go for it! You never know, it may surprise you! And yea – DFTBA!! 🙂

My favourite quotes in the book: (The second quote makes me feel mysterious and royal! 😉 )

Prodigy was what Colin had, the way language has words

Girls are impenetrable fortresses of unknowability

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


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