Friday, 7 March 2014

'An Abundance of Katherines' by John Green: A Book Review

I finished reading this book about a week ago, but I couldn't get around to writing the review until now. But worry not, the details of this book are still fresh in my mind!

This is the second John Green book that I've read, and I'm starting to understand that he has a 'type' when it comes to his protagonists - he likes them philosophical and, well, geeky.

But I'll get to that later.
First, here's the plot summary, courtesy of!

"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."

Yes, you read that right. This story is about a boy, Colin, recently dumped by the nineteenth Katherine he has dated. Nineteenth!

That makes me wonder: is the name Katherine that common? Is it the American equivalent of Aditi/Sanjana/Rahul/Rohan? Because I know at least five people each with those names!

Anyway, Colin doesn't fall for these women by accident. No, for him to love a woman, she has to be named Katherine. Not Kathy, not Erin, not even Katrina. It has to be Katherine, or no dice.
Throughout the novel, we're introduced to all nineteen girls as Colin recounts to himself the story of his life. This was definitely the high point of the book. I love flashbacks, romance and comedy - and the Katherine scenes have all three.

So to recover from the aforementioned breakup, Colin sets off on an awesome road-trip with his broken heart, a talent for anagramming, and his best friend, Hassan.

(I've always wanted to have a road trip! So much fun!)

Hassan. While I definitely liked Hassan more than Colin - who, let's face it, is too whiny for my taste - he still didn't make much of an impact on me. Same goes for Lindsey, a girl they meet and befriend while on the road. Unlike TFIOS, where I really liked the characters (although I still feel Augustus 'Mr. So-Called Perfect' Waters is overrated), the characters in this story didn't do anything for me.
In typical John Green fashion, Colin and Hassan are extremely intelligent, not popular, and act superior to other teens. Just like Colin, John Green, too, has a type. And I'm not sick of reading about such characters, but... I wouldn't mind a little variety!

I was actually enjoying this book up until the halfway point, when it started to drag and jumped to a different subplot altogether, one that I didn't care for.

Anyway, John Green writes very well. Here are my favourite quotes from this book:

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.

You don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.

"Even if it's a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. An infinitesimal change. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward - ever smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last. And so we all matter - maybe less than a lot, but always more than some.”

“I figured something out," he said aloud. "The future is unpredictable."
Hassan said, "Sometimes the kafir likes to say massively obvious things in a really profound voice.” 

To summarise: I liked the writing, the anagramming, the footnotes, the few French/German dialogues, the Dumper/Dumpee theory, the comedy, and the Katherine moments.
I didn't care much for Colin, Hassan or Lindsey, the other subplots and the ending.

I'm going to go with 3 stars out of 5 for An Abundance of Katherines.
It's not a bad read, but not a great one, either.

If you're a fan of John Green, let me know which book of his you like best. What did you think of AAK? Also, be sure to read my TFIOS review here, if you haven't already!

The next post is going to be Geekie Chic's 50th post!! I really can't believe it. :O
Anyway, until next time. Bye! :)


  1. Congrats on your 50th post sweets!
    Have a look at my blog too
    Do join my giveaway! Added you on G+

  2. 10k+ hits!!! :D Wohooo! You go girl! ^_^

    1. And I loved the "Books are the ultimate dumpees.." quote the best! :D

    2. Thank you! I still can't believe it. ^_^
      I like that quote too! John Green's books always have a lot of nice quotes about, well, books! :)

  3. Congratulations! Great review, haven't read that one. Also The Fault of Our Stars by John Green, its amazing and the movie is coming out in June :)xx Excited Much?

  4. Very excited!! There's nothing I love more than movie adaptations of books. :D


What's on your mind, Geeks? Let me know! :)