Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

abundanceTitle: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Genre: YA contemporary fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from the public library
First line: The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.

Colin is a recent high school graduate with a genius I.Q. who just happens to be a chronic Dumpee. He has been dumped 19 times – all by girls named Katherine. Facing a future of not mattering as much as he thinks he should, given his intelligence, he is at loose ends – until his best friend, Hassan, suggests a road trip. What results is a journey to Gutshot, Tennessee, where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a feral hog, and a girl named Lindsey will give Colin a new outlook on life.

Since the beginning of the year, I have read three books by John Green, and while I loved them all, An Abundance of Katherines is my favorite. (I know that puts me in the minority, as people seem to love Looking for Alaska the most.) I completely fell in love with Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey. The friendship between Colin and Hassan is priceless and perfectly written – and their dialogue is often hilarious. Speaking of hilarious, this is the funniest book I’ve read in ages – and the scene where they are hunting feral hogs had me laughing until tears rolled down my face.

The best things about Green’s writing are his characters and the dialogue they speak. There were so many scenes that had me grinning, or laughing, or wishing there was someone around to read a particular turn of phrase or piece of dialogue aloud to. He now holds a place on my list of favorite authors – and I wish he would write faster, because I can’t wait to read whatever he publishes next.

Parental note: Green’s books are definitely meant for older teens, and they are told from the point of view of older teenage boys, with some accompanying sex talk/thoughts and crude humor. It doesn’t bother me, but you will want to keep that in mind if looking for reading material for your kids.

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21 Responses to Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

  1. Alyce
    Twitter: athomewithbooks
    says:

    John Green is one of those authors that I have put off reading and can’t figure out why. This book sounds so good though, and the whole thing with the Katherines seems like it would have to be funny at some point (even if it is sad for him).
    .-= Alyce´s last blog ..Reading Glasses Shopper Winners! =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Alyce – it is quite a unique story – and he has such a wonderful voice.

  2. Kathy says:

    I bought this a while ago simply because of the title – I’m glad to see it’s so good.
    .-= Kathy´s last blog ..Our Life in France – banking, money and numbers =-.

  3. Fyrefly says:

    I am one of those who loves Looking for Alaska best, but there’s such a tiny margin to choose between them, I think LfA tops the list only because I read it first, so it was my first introduction to the wonderful world of John Green.

    Reading this review, I now really think you’d love Going Bovine (I mean, I thought so before, but I extra-think-so now) – it’s got the same sense of humor and the same feral-hog-hunting-wackiness and the same high level of quotability.
    .-= Fyrefly´s last blog ..January Wrap-Up: Books and Reviews =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Fyrefly – I am checking out the audio of Going Bovine from the library – hope to listen to it soon!

  4. softdrink says:

    You ARE in the minority. 😀 I think Looking for Alaska is my favorite, but some days it’s Paper Towns. I like the first 1/2 of LfA and the last 1/2 pf Paper Towns.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Fizzy – we can agree to disagree, right? Of course, you’re Team Gale, too, aren’t you? Hmmmmm………………..

  5. Kailana says:

    I am glad you enjoyed this book so much! I love John Green so far and look forward to his next offering. 🙂
    .-= Kailana´s last blog ..A Wind in the Door =-.

  6. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna
    says:

    I need to read Looking for Alaska!! This one sounds great as well, esp. since you like it more.
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..LOST: LA X, Parts 1 and 2 =-.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies
      says:

      Swapna – I did, but I’m one of the only ones who like this one better. 🙂

  7. raidergirl3 says:

    Nope, there are two of us. I’m with you on An Abundance of Katherines over Looking for Alaska. I liked that it was a little lighter in tone, and had math. I haven’t read Paper Towns yet though.
    .-= raidergirl3´s last blog ..Welcome =-.

  8. heidenkind says:

    Maybe he should date someone who’s named something other than Katherine?
    .-= heidenkind´s last blog ..Urban/e Vampires =-.

  9. Amy S. says:

    This sounds like so much fun! My brother is married to a Jennifer and dated another Jennifer and a Jenna before her.
    .-= Amy S.´s last blog ..For Valentine’s Day: Favorite Films about Love =-.

  10. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12
    says:

    I’ve loved Green’s books that I’ve read and this is the only one I haven’t read yet.. I can’t wait to pick it up now. I attended a reading John Green did earlier this week and he was hilarious. He also had some wonderful comment on the importance of continuing to read books when the internet and other forms of media are becoming so prevalent.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Friday Favorites: The Shadow of the Wind =-.

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