After being dumped by the 19th Katherine that he’s dated, Colin Singleton decides that he needs to make a change. He heads off on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. They wind up stopping at a small town in Tennessee after seeing a sign advertising the burial place of an Austro-Hungarian archduke, someone Colin remembers reading about once. There they meet Lindsey, the cashier of the general store and tour guide of the archduke’s resting place. After meeting Lindsey’s mother and being offered a job, Colin and Hassan decide to stay in Tennessee for the duration of the summer.
While there, Colin dedicates most of his time trying to figure out why he has found himself being dumped 19 times. And every time by a girl named Katherine. But he may found out that there is no scientific answer to this problem. It is just life which is unpredictable.
There are a few times when I read a book and I can tell the author is showing off. He’s blatantly showing how smart he is to the reader. It does not bother me if it adds to the story instead of being a distraction. Lisa Genova did this is in her novel Still Alice. So did Donna Tartt in The Secret History. Both novels are in my list of all time favorites so I do not hold any bias towards an author who wants to use a novel to show just how smart he is. With Genova and Tartt, it succeeded in enhancing the story and making it better.
In An Abundance of Katherines, it’s obvious that John Green wanted to show the world how clever and witty he is. (I love John Green and really do think he’s incredibly clever and witty. He just didn’t need to use a book to show the world this.) However, it simply did not work for me. It was distracting and I found reading this book to be more annoying than enjoyable. If I saw one more anagram or graph, I was gonna chuck this book out the window.
I recently gushed about absolutely loving the main characters John Green created in The Fault in Our Stars. Colin Singleton, the main character in An Abundance of Katherines, is one of the most annoying people I’ve ever had to read about. He’s the type of person you want to shake and scream, “Get over it!” to. Sure he acknowledges that he is this type of person but it doesn’t make it much better. He is ridiculously whiny and self-absorbed.
When I finished the book I remember thinking, “What was the point of that?” I’m still trying to figure it out. A boy decides to go on a road trip to figure out why it is he can’t seem to stay single and constantly dates Katherines. By the end, he doesn’t really have anything figured out. He starts dating someone new but since her name isn’t Katherine it somehow makes it OK? Whatever you do, do not judge John Green by An Abundance of Katherines. He is so much better than this. At least I hope he is. Paper Towns is next on my to-read list so I’ll be able to determine if this was a fluke or if The Fault in Our Stars was a fluke. I really hope it’s the former.
Final Verdict: I just could not get behind this book. I gave it a 2-star rating on Goodreads.