Title: 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.