Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Abundance of Katherines-John Green

Let it be said, dear reader, that I am not fond of math.

Perhaps I should have let Heather write the first review, for this one, because she does, actually, enjoy math. I mean, she doesn't do it for fun, or anything, but it is up there on her list of favorite school subjects. Also, she has a much larger mental capacity for math. (Heather is the smart one, in case you had wondered.) Anyway, it might have been wise to allow Heather to review first, so that my own review could be short and non-descript, because this book includes a lot of math. An abundance, you might say.

Maybe, though, it's better that I write it, so that you'll know: even though I despise equations and formulas and got a C for two quarters of Algebra II, I adored this book. Even- no- especially the math parts.

Colin Singleton has been dumped nineteen times, each time being by a girl named Katherine. (Some part of this statement is actually a lie, but it's what Colin tells us.) The abundance of Katherines dated by Colin is no coincidence, by the way. He hasn't just fallen for nineteen girls who happened to be named Katherine. Girls named Katherine just happen to be Colin's type.

You might think that after being dumped eighteen other times by Katherines, Colin would have learned to expect the break-up, maybe accept with good humor, even. The end of Colin's relationship with Katherine XIX, however, is not expected. K-19 had broken Colin's heart like no
Katherine has ever broken it before. He doesn't cry. He does, however, throw up.

Colin's best friend Hassan, an overweight and Judge Judy obsessed but delightful Muslim boy, has seen the phenomenon of the Colin/Katherine break up many-a-time, and proposes a ROAD TRIP to ease Colin's suffering.

They end up in Gutshot, Tennessee; there they meet Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis, who offers Colin and Hassan a position of employment interviewing older residents about Gutshot's major employer- a factory that produces tampon strings.

Despite many very interesting distractions, including the lovely Lindsey, Colin remains totally heartbroken over Katherine XIX. To understand what follows, you must know this- Colin is a prodigy. Or was, anyway, until he became a teenager. He's not a genius- he's very adament about that- but he is very, very, very intelligent. So instead of wallowing around in more self-pity, our little ex-prodigy has his very own Eureka moment.

Colin develops a formula. A formula to calculate relationships, or more specifically, how they will end. Will he dump her, or (more likely) will she dump him? And- here's what we're all really wondering- how long will it last?

Now, despite all of my intense math hatred, I was pretty darn fascinated, at this point. When I thought about it, it made perfect sense, why Colin would turn to a formula after a break up. When I do come across the are person who actually likes math, I usually ask why, just because the idea of liking math, frankly, baffles me.

And here is their answer: Math is dependable, and numbers, if nothing else in life, are always black and white.

So why not apply them to life's most huge and frustrating gray area?

This book is amusing, amazing, and abundant with awesome. When picking up An Abundance of Katherines, reader, be prepared for: anagrams, footnotes, foreign languages(Colin is quite good at eleven), the history of 'fug', dingleberries, a cast of hilarious and wonderful characters, more quirk than I've seen since the cancellation of Gilmore Girls, and another brilliant novel by John Green.

I have two little tiny complaints, though.

The first isn't so much a complaint as a... comparison. I love a book that makes me laugh, but what I really love is something that makes me cry. I realize that this is masochistic and all that, but it's just how I am. Now, this doesn't take anything away from the wonderful philisophical comedy that is An Abundance of Katherine's- all it means is that I liked Looking for Alaska better. Because it broke my heart in every way possible. But I also liked this book for making my crack up incesscantly and supplying me with an endless supply of useless information.

My only real complaint would be(take one guess...) the ending.

The book with an ending that completely satisfies me shall win a prize. A place in a frame, a shiny medal, etc. This particular ending was just... so... happy. Like, wierdly happy, considering that it didn't really fit the situation. I don't know. It could have been better. But this is still a wonderaculous book, and I highly reccomend reading it.

Just, piece of advice? Don't read it when distracted by personal matters. Trust me.
Katherine's get four cups of coffee.

Wondering why the amazing man who wrote this could have possibly been dumped 53 times,

trying to anagram,
dying for Paper Towns,
fugtastically yours,



I, as much as I hate to do this, concur. With almost everything. I liked Looking for Alaska better too, I like a book that makes me cry, and I love the hilarity of An Abundance of Katherines.

The footnotes in this book were particularly great. Except the ones about math. As Caroline has said, I do like math. I am good at it. But the footnotes were a little confusing. The Appendix, however, made perfect sense to me. The footnotes, I guess, were too short (except the one about the first 99 digits of pi). But all other footnotes were informative as well as funny.

The only problem I had with the book, was the ending, as well. Like Caroline said, it was weirdly happy. It was an incomplete happiness. You don't know everything. You don't know where this is going. There are so many things that could go wrong in the next second, but right now, everything is peaceful. Not even exactly happy. Just kind of peaceful. I would rather someone die (not in this book, because that wouldn't fit the plot at all, but in most cases I prefer upset over peaceful).

Other than that, no issues. Katherines is great.

John Green is a genious. He is no prodigy. He isn't very very very intelligent. He's a genius.

That being said, I give this book 4 out of five cups of coffee(I'm hoping to find a book I hate soon so that I can stop giving such high ratings)

wishing that she could make up complicated equations like that, likewise wondering about being dumped 53 times, trying very hard to work the anagrams out, failing miserably



(excited about I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, a novel by Stephanie Kuehnert. It comes out July 2008)


Liv said...

I liked this book a lot too. I haven't read Looking for Alaska yet, but I want to really bad. Nice review!

ambeen said...

Wow, it sounds so good! I'll have to read it sometime. I have Looking For Alaska but haven't got to it yet.

Anyway, my main point for coming here is.....

I am tagging you to be Memed! Go to my blog, copy and paste the rules, tell us six random things about you, and Meme others!

Heather♥ said...

I sent you an email with my review in it! =D

Heather♥ said...

wow, okay, you see, when I said to get the spaces in the right places, I didn't mean don't put in any. haha. wow, caroline this is a very, very sad thing. next time, I'll put, like, 3 plus signs where they're supposed to be so you can just copy/paste and you'll know where to put them. ha.

The Maelstroms Themselves said...

I am a tad bit confused. I think Caroline wrote this review. No matter. I have tagged both bloggers of Plenty of Paper to participate in a meme! I can't figure out how to link from comments so if you go to (post March 23rd) then you shall discover a realm of meme-age as never before! I certainly hope you will deign to participate.

Caroline said...

Caroline wrote this review first. And then Heather put in her opinion- actually, Caroline put in Heather's opinion because this blog is retarded and doesn't let Heather HAVE her own opinions- but it's Caroline until Caroline signs the review and then it's Heather.
Oh. Yeah. You're probably more confused now. Sorry. :/

Hope. said...

I haven't read this one yet -- I'm a little hesitant to, because I've heard good and bad things about it... mixed opinions... but I think I'm gonna try it out. :D