Amy Reads Books

An Abundance of Katherines - John Green

This is Green's second novel and follows child prodigy Colin Singleton as he attempts to formulate a theory which predicts the outcome of relationships, having been dumped by his 19th girlfriend-all of whom have been called Katherine. Meanwhile, his best friend Hassan pulls him on a road trip in attempt to help him move on.

Having recently been broken up with myself, An Abundance of Katherines is pretty much the best break-up book ever. Green (who apparently has been dumped 53 [!] times)perfectly captures the feelings of loss and confusion that come with having a relationship end. Whilst the novel isn't that long, it moves along nicely, becoming an almost pre-college coming-of-age story as Colin, Hassan and new friend Lindsay Lee Wells attempt to make sense of what they want their futures to be. I also loved the footnotes that came throughout the novel, adding extra information and context to Colin's habit of randomly fact dropping in conversations.

Character-wise, I'll admit that Colin is probably my least favourite protagonist from a Green novel. He was incredibly self-involved and a little arrogant and judgemental around other people-and it takes a lot for him to realise this. I did spend a lot of the novel wanting to smack him the head. However, Hassan, his overweight Muslim best friend was hilarious and should probably win a prize for being so understanding. Lindsay was also a great character, much more than just a love interest, she felt really wholly established.

An Abundance of Katherines was the right novel at the right time for me; there's nothing like seeing your experiences represented in literature. And if Colin can convince 19 girls to go out with him, then I think there's hope for us all.