Thursday, 17 September 2009

An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green

Publisher: Penguin Group Aus
Pub. Date: October 2008
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 272
Format: paperback
Source of copy: from the publisher - Penguin Aus

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.

Before I picked up this book, I'd heard several great things about John Green's works. Unfailingly the comments were brilliant, amazing, creative, thought-provoking or unforgettable. An Abundance Of Katherines, however, gave me my own word to compliment on his writing: unique.

When I started reading I really didn't know what to expect. The premise did sound very funny and interesting but unlike other books, I couldn't predict many of the details. At first, I'm not going to lie, I didn't quite catch the drift. Except from the fact that Colin was heartbroken from the breakup with XIX Katherine, other things were very unclear and the pace was slow. Thankfully after a few chapters it started to pick up and things made sense. I loved every little small part that the author added to the story: the anagram, the strange languages, the history, even the math (note that I'm a antiMath). These freshness would make you remember An Abundance of Katherine, whether you found yourself in love with the book or not. And did I mention that the writing was super smart? I did feel kinda dumb at the beginning but once getting used to John Green's style, I surprisingly enjoyed it really much. The conversations, the situation, the way the author untie the knots were astute, something that you wouldn't find in other novels.

I especially emphasized on how great the author's work of creating characters was. Same as the plot, people like Colin or Hassan weren't typical teenagers that you could randomly come across in any YA books. Colin's life, overall, was even more complicated than his live life - a prodigy anticipated to grow into a genius but did not, then tried his best to matter by learning so hard that he thought he could form his own equation of relationship stages. Sometimes I thought he was crazy, sometimes very ambitious and determined. He was also a very unpredictable character - one moment he seemed weak, the other very strong, someone you could lean on in times of troubles. And Hassan? He'd give you the best laugh you could ever ask from male character, very silly but honest and caring guy.

Overall this book was a very shewd read, an epitome of how clever a YA book can be. If you want to try something different, pick it up. Now.

Rating: 4.5/5


Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Thanks for the review. I haven't read any of his work yet, but this one does sound very unique!


Kathy Holmes said...

Now how cool is this? So unexpected because Katherine isn't a name you hear much anymore. Naturally, when I was in school there were usually 2 or 3 of us named Kathy so one year the teacher decided to call me by my formal name - Katherine - the one and only time anybody ever called me that casually.

This book sounds so interesting - I must read this!

Mishel said...

I almost picked this up the other day because I've been meaning to read a John Green novel for a while. I almost grabged Looking for Alaska as well, I can't decide which one to start with. I've heard good things about both.

Was this your first Green novel??

Kelly said...

I'm so glad you liked this one too! Further proof that we are kindred spirits when it comes to reading tastes. :)

My hub's reading this one now and laughing out loud a lot.

I've only read this & Paper Towns by Green...I need to read the rest!

Marie said...

This is the only book by him I haven't read... I think Paper Towns is my fav!