an abundance of katherines

Title: an abundance of katherines
Author: *swoon* John Green
Pages: 228
Pub: 2006; Penguin
Genre: Young Adult

"That's how I remember things, anyway. I remember stories. I connect the dots and then out of that comes a story. And the dots that don't fit into the story just slide away, maybe. Like when you spot a constellation. You look up and you don't see all the stars. All the stars just look like the big fugging random mess that they are. But you want to see shapes; you want to see stories, so you pick them out of the sky. Hassan told me once you think like that, too - that you see connections everywhere - so you're a natural born storyteller, it turns out." (202)

The Set Up

Meet Colin. He is a hot mess. An insecure hot mess. Boy prodigy (different from a genius) without an inkling of ideas to become famous and meaningful, a lifelong dumpee of katherines, and to make it above all else awful, needy wuss who constantly needs reassuring. And then there's Hassan, bestie from the middle east who wants to assure everyone he meets that he's not a terrorist and lazy slacker who wants to watch Judge Judy all day.

Colin has yet again been dumped by a katherine. Katherine #19 as a matter of fact and he is DEPRESSED. Hassan believes the cure for this is a road trip. Reluctantly Colin agrees and they end up in a po-dunk town in the middle of the south to visit the tomb of Franz Ferdinand (you know, the guy whose death started World War 1). And as life goes, whilst there they meet this rad chick named Lindsey and her momma named Hollis. And what do you know, Hollis is rich and offers them a job and to spend the summer in her mansion. Wheeeee!

The Innards

Colin begins to develop a theorem that will predict relationships - and it's a nerdy sorta formula that made my head hurt. There's bell curves and graphs and numbers and all that other jazz. Colin swears he's going to find purpose in this, all the while still nursing a breakup hangover from hell. Lindsey helps him out a little and there's great banter between them. And of course, all the while Hassan is being a good bestie and going through his own turmoil of slackerness and lacking-life-goals-ness. There's other cute boys and girls involved and the small po-dunk town's folk to listen to. There's a documentary being created and hog hunting and all sorts of other zaniness that John Green (*swoon*) is well known for. There's life-changing-epic-Eureka moments. And then there's not. There's footnotes too. FOOTNOTES PEOPLE! I LOVE FOOTNOTES.

Now onto MY Ramblings

I have a secret to tell. When I changed this in my LT account from "tbr" to "read" and marked the stars I gave it "four stars". HOWEVER, if John Green (*swoon*) didn't write this book, it totally would have been a "three star-er". I admit it. I'm biased. (1) So, because I do try to have as much integrity as possible while blogging, I wanted to come clean and give my reasons and thoughts and all of that other crazy bookiness. Colin was not a favorite character of mine. I mean, he was a believable character (as was Hassan) but I just didn't really dig him. Usually I like the protagonists of JG's novels. (2) In fact, I much preferred Lindsey who, although was in the book quite a bit, wasn't suppose to be the most INFLUENTIAL character. (3) But yay for footnotes. Dude there are footnotes on so many gosh darn pages and I totally loved each and everyone of them.(4) Ah, but I did have to skim over some of the math bits. Green makes it okay though and even includes a nifty little afterwards that tells you all about the math-mumbo-jumbo(5). OOOOOH, and another thing that I love? Colin is crazy about anagrams, which I've never really been good with, so I loved seeing all of the words that he could find in other words. I wondered if Mr. Green used a program or truly sat around coming up with all of the anagrams he could for various comments. And also, there's all of these cool new words in different languages interspersed all around. I mean, truly, isn't that why we love these books? All of those little zany elements?
I still think ya'll should read the book. Just don't read it before any of his others.


(1) If you've never read any of John Green's books, I would highly recommend Looking for Alaska Paper Towns Looking for Paper Alaska Towns which is my all time favorite.

(2) Okay I wasn't really big on Margo (PT) and she wasn't the main character, but I did totally love Alaska (LfA) who also wasn't the main character. And both Miles and Quentin (LfPAT) were faved.

(3) Although, after looking back through my flagged pages, Lindsey's comments were the most highlighted.

(4) Don't you love footnotes? Don't they rock? They add so much more. It's like the non-ellipses-ellipses.

(5) It's theorems, man. I can't do it. In Geometry Honors when I had to write a proof proving why the corner of a square was indeed a 90 degree angle, I merely summed it up with: Christina's Theorem of Common Sense(tm). I had better things to prove in lie when I was 15.


  1. Everyone seems to love this less than John Green's other books but me. SADNESS.

    (I know you actually liked it; I'm just in the mood to leave slightly dramatic comments :P)

  2. Proving geometry theorems was just about the last math thing I truly enjoyed; then it was on to Algebra II and horrible graphs and quadratic equations. I can't invent them on my own like Colin however. :p

  3. I tend to do the exact same thing when it comes to particular authors... being bias isn't a bad thing when you think the author is rad! :)

  4. This was my first John Green and I didn't like it much. Then again, that was before I really knew who John Green was, and I wonder if I missed something.

  5. Ana - I heart your drama!

    Jenny - Ugh! Really? I much preferred Algebra II. But then that was it for me. :)

    Reederreads - Glad I'm not the only one. And I LOVE that you used the word "rad"

    Amanda - Eh, like I said, I LOVE JG and it still wasn't my fave. :)

  6. I have a confession...I've not read John Green even though I have heard nothing but love for him from other bloggers. Guess I need to get busy!

  7. I don't want to read this, because then there will be no more John Green books for me to read :(


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