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Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

June 15, 2016

Hello Hello Hello!

I have FINALLY finished "An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green! Like most of my books, I have had this on my shelf for a while now and just haven't picked it up. I got this novel as a gift from a friend and finally decided to read it. Now, this wasn't my favourite Green novel, but I still enjoyed it.



In the beginning I found that it was moving a little slow and I was having difficulty staying interested. Here's the basis: Colin Singleton is a child prodigy who loves to anagram, read, oh and only date girls named Katherine. Alongside his best friend, Hassan, Colin heads out on a road trip from Chicago only to end up in Gutshot, Tennessee in which he meets a young girl by the name of Lindsey Lee Wells who helps him pick up the pieces and discover who he is.

I was pleasantly surprised that this book wasn't just a sappy teenage romance story. Like all of Greens novels, he always manages to create these relationships between characters that just captures the reader. I really enjoyed Lindsey and Colin's friendship as it grew throughout the book. I liked that he was thinking of her as a friend and when he was with her he could forget about Katherine 19 and just enjoy her company as he would with Hassan.

Let's talk about Hassan for a moment. I freaking love this character! He is hilarious and genuine and I think that more authors should write people like him into their books. Hassan felt the most real to me. He was always joking around and was definitely the comic relief for the book. He did have some character development throughout the book and I was very happy about this.

I didn't quite connect with Lindsey that much. I could identify with her at times, but I mostly connected with Colin. My whole life I was considered the "smart kid" and the pressure was awful. I was never considered a prodigy per say, but I did start reading at a young age and was academically advanced in some ways. Colin kept saying that he wanted to matter and I can completely identify with that. After middle school my "smart kids" status was pretty much demoted and I became less interested in academics, but I still wanted to make something of myself. I am not in college and yet I want to become someone of intellectual success, but in no way do I wish to attend school. I know that may be a bit of an oxymoron, but since when did test scores and degrees decide whether you are intelligent or not?

I think I got off topic...no surprise there. In the book there are footnotes throughout and I think that was very interesting. I learned a lot from these little notes such as who was the Canadian Prime Minister in 1936 or who invented the first TV, all very interesting. Even in a book about two teenage boys hanging out in a rural Tennessee town, John Green manages to teach us facts!

There is a lot of math and graphs in the book that I was having trouble understanding even though there are plenty of explanations. MATH IS A NO FOR ME. I literally cannot understand any of it. I see numbers and wan't to cry. I can write fluidly in the code PigPen, but I cannot even try to understand calculus or even algebra...maybe I should go to college. Now I can do basic and some advanced math, I just prefer not to. Why use numbers, when you can use words and language? Just saying. I think Colin would agree with me on that!

As the book was very well-written I found myself getting a little lost at times with the use of ellipses, but that was probably just my poor reading skills, to be honest. I have read many coming of age books as of late and this one was very different. It not only showed major character development, but it also showed that the smallest of events can change your future for better or for worse. There is a quote from then end of the book that I would like to share with you:

"... And in that space, Colin thought, there was room enough to reinvent himself - room enough to make himself into something other than a prodigy, to remake his story better and different - room enough to be reborn again and again. A snake killer, an Archduke, a slayer of TOCs - a genius, even. There was room enough to be anyone - anyone except whom he'd already been, for if Colin had learned one thing from Gutshot, it's that you can't stop the future from coming. And for the first time in his life, he smiled thinking about the always-coming infinite future stretching out before him.” 
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

I really enjoyed this quote because it made me think. If you've been reading my blog for sometime, then you know how much I love to think. Basically this is saying that YOU have the power to change your future and I believe that is the most important lesson in life. This is YOUR story and YOU get to decide what comes next!

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys coming of age books or any John Green fan. This is a great summer read and at only 215 pages it is a fast and very enjoyable read. All in all I give it a 4/5!

Happy Reading!

- Haley

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