Backlist Bonus: An Abundance of Katherines

15707124by John Green
YA Contemporary
3 of 5 stars

After I read Looking for Alaska I was eager to dive into Green’s next novel. It sounded different enough that I was excited to see what he moved on to. Although parts of this story did make me laugh or held my interest, overall it was much harder to get through than any of his other books. The pace was plodding, and Colin didn’t interest me as a protagonist. Now that I’ve read four of his books, I can truly say this is my least favorite—though the quality of the writing puts it in my “okay” column.

Colin has been dumped by nineteen Katherines to date, and he’s ready to figure out why it keeps happening. He is working on a formula to predict a relationship’s end (who does the dumping and who is the dumpee, or if the relationship will work long-term) and is convinced he’s on the cusp of perfecting it. We follow his analysis of his previous failed relationships as he goes on a road trip with some friends and keeps a sharp eye for the next Katherine. Instead, he meets a Lindsey, who threatens to wreck all his notions about relationships.

This story features a rather predictable plot, lots of (interesting) math, and repetitive conversations. If you enjoy Colin’s perspective you’ll like this book, but if you find him wearisome I can assure you Green’s other protagonists are more lively and interesting. I was interested to see how Colin’s formula would develop (especially since Green enlisted an actual mathematician’s help) and this has a lot of quirks you’d find in humorous anecdotes from someone’s past. It feels a bit like a rambling story your grandfather might tell you years later. Worth reading if you want to read the complete set of Green’s work.

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, An Abundance of Katherines is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews – Greg relates his senior year and the circumstances that led to breaking his cardinal rule of remaining aloof socially: befriending a classmate dying of cancer. See my review here.
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – Lara Jean resolves to get over her past crushes by writing them love letters that she never sends. Except the letters DO find their recipients and she finds five boys wanting answers from her. A charming YA love story. See my review here.
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – A somewhat predictable but decent romantic comedy that takes place over a 24-hour period en route from New York City to London.

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