An Abundance of Katherines, reviewed by Hannah White

An Abundance of Katherines

by Hannah White

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.

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?” We all have that one stage in life that we want to try to do something to be remembered; if not, that’s what our life goal is intended to be. In John Green’s book, An Abundance of Katherines, Colin Singleton is a child prodigy who had his heart broken once and based his entire life upon being with only girls of the same name. John Green’s second young adult novel has really set it off with it’s interesting conflict, exciting plot, and unique characters.

The main reason I found the conflict so interesting in this book is because it was real. It wasn’t a fake little story that someone told to make it seem like a happily ever after thing. The thing about John Green’s book is there’s always that chance of it being real. In this book, the problem was that Colin couldn’t get over Katherine XIX, who had really been Katherine I. Colin was a prodigy, meaning he was an unusually gifted or intelligent (young) person, so basically, he was more than your average nerd. Everyone knows that most beautiful bright girls doesn’t go for the nerds, they go for the jocks. This prodigy was too focused on finding a way to be remembered than his relationships, as every Katherine had attempted to explain to him. The thing with these types of situtations is that everyone in existence will be forgotten eventually. One thousand years from now, nobody will remember who held the world record for the most touchdowns in one season. My favorite thing about this book most definitely has to be the conflict, because it’s as if John Green can rip into every teenagers heart and pour out our feelings as if we poured them out for him. We all seem to struggle with some devasting heart break at some point in our lives, and this book was the best way to show teenagers that everything gets better; only if you allow it to.

I enjoyed the plot mostly because it wasn’t something that happens in just every book. The story was layed out perfectly, and it was never something that you’d expect to happen like you can in most stories you read. Usually it’s “the guy gets the girl” or “she dies”, but in An Abundance of Katherines, things happened that you’d never expect to read in a young adults book. You’d think that simply because we’re not exactly what you’d consider adults, that John Green would treat us as if we didn’t understand what was happening in the story. My favorite part of the plot was whenever Hassan, Colin’s best friend, and Colin went hog hunting and came across a hog that was charging right at them, and they chickened out and wouldn’t shoot at it, so instead, Colin shot a beehive and they had to practically run for their lives so they wouldn’t get stung to death. It was funny and relatable, and it was just a very well written out book.

The characters were really unique to me because they reminded me so much of my friends. They were well developed and seemed like they wasn’t what they made everyone think they were. It seems like everytime I read one of John Green’s book, I fall in love with the characters as if they were like my family or even my best friends, and then I just want to reread the book over and over so I can relive those certain people. But it’s like the characters changed as the story went on; they realized that things change and people get hurt, and that you can’t live your life the same way you’re living it now in fifteen years. I could honestly relate to the way Colin thought, since it was in his point of view, because he was always asking questions and thinking back to his past and later realizing that never really puts him in a good situation in the end.

Overall, this book honestly has to be one of the best books I have ever read. John Green never seems to let me down, and that’s the main reason he’s my favorite author. I would most likely recommend this book to anyone, even if it was specifically written for young adults, anybody could enjoy this if they’d give it the chance. Anybody can relate to this, and it’s honestly an amazing book to read for pleasure. The conflict, plot, and characters isn’t the only great things about this books, because there’s plenty more. I suppose it’s one of those “you have to be there” kind of things. 


3 responses

  1. Hi Hannah!

    I really like that you began your review with a quote. Great idea! Is it a direct quote from the book? I especially liked your closing sentence. When you said “it’s one of those “you have to be there” kind of things,” I was drawn in and I was interested in reading the book. Your descriptions of the conflict, plot, and characters also made me want to read the book. I like that you describe the book as relatable because I like to read things that are easy to relate to. Great job!

  2. Hello Hannah.
    First of all I think you did a good job of getting someone interested in this book. I’m thinking about going to the library and getting it tonight now after reading your response. It is always important to try and show how a book connects to a reader; even books that you think are not any good affect you as a reader. You show that the book connected to you on a personal level, which makes it seem more like a book you enjoyed. I only found a few strangely worded sentences. Maybe if you read it out loud you could spot them too. In your 4th paragraph as well you use the word “they” a lot, if you go back and read it there might be some other ways of saying it without using “they”. You did very well on this assignment, and the things I mentioned you might want to look at are simple mistakes that everyone makes on first and second drafts, so it is no big deal. If you have any questions just message me back.

    1. Thank you, Aaron.
      As I wrote this I was beginning to question whether or not I should mention things on a personal level, but Mrs. Baisden mentioned that stating how you relate to the book helps you write the review easier, so I’m happy to know that’s something I need to do more often in my reviews.
      Also, I read over this a few times and finally realized that I overused “they”, and I actually think Mrs. Baisden said the same thing. Hopefully hearing this from the both of you will help me improve my work gradually, because I’ve been cautious about overusing pronouns on the past few book reviews I’ve turned in.

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