When you frequently use Goodreads or Tumblr, or are part of the book blogging community, it is hard to escape John Green. I have heard nothing but pure unadulterated praise for his books, and now I am beginning to understand why.
The main protagonist of An Abundance of Katherines is Colin, a former child prodigy who loves to learn, but doesn’t feel as if he’s done anything with his life – and that it’s too late to make a difference. Every single girl that Colin has even gone out with or kissed has been called Katherine – with that exact spelling – and he can’t explain why. And every single Katherine has dumped him – nineteen in total.
At the beginning of the novel, Colin has just been dumped by Katherine number nineteen, the one with which he has had the longest and most serious relationship. In an effort to stop his best friend spiralling down into depression, Colin’s friend Hassan encourages him to take a road trip, as they have the whole summer ahead of them. And it is this road trip which changes everything.
Somehow, whilst Colin is a very self-centered person who is completely and utterly fixated on Katherines, he is still very likeable. I think this is due to his intelligence, his constant anagramming – making him a very interesting character. He is also, whilst being a little selfish, a good person at heart. He just wants the girl he loves back and doesn’t understand why things ended, so you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him. His best friend, Hassan, is another great character – partly comic relief, partly a shoulder for Colin to cry on. Both boys might seem like they’re taking the easy way out at times, but they certainly prove themselves at various points throughout the book.
It’s funny how a story about heartbreak can be such a delight to read. John Green has a lovely, fluid writing style that is both easy to read, and gets a lot across. The book felt so unique with its frequent anagrams and mathematical formulas – I hate maths, I can’t do it to save my life but I found Colin’s Theorem and the maths behind it fascinating. And that’s when you know an author is doing something right – they draw you into something you normally wouldn’t care about.
I would most definitely recommend this book, and will be reading more of Mr. Green’s work, starting with The Fault in Our Stars. But first I need to emotionally prepare myself. Wish me luck.