An Abundance of Katherines. A Book Review.

John Green has rapidly become one of my favourite authors. I’ve now read four* of his young adult (YA) novels, the latest being An Abundance of Katherines (AoK).

AoK is about Colin Singleton, a young prodigy who finds himself at loose ends after being dumped by his 19th girlfriend, all of whom have been called Katherine. His best and only friend, Hassan, a less than devout Muslim who likes nothing more than sitting around the house watching Judge Judy, suggests a road trip to cheer Colin up. An-Abundance-of-KatherinesThey arrive in a Tennessee town called Gutshot, where they meet local nerd turned popular girl Lindsey Lee Wells (with her Football hero boyfriend, Colin, or The Other Colin–TOC, as Hassan refers to him). After meeting Lindsey’s rich mother, who owns the local tampon string-making factory (the only business keeping the town alive), they gain employment conducting interviews with the town’s people for an oral history project. Colin is writing  a mathematical formula to accurately predict how long relationships will last, based on his nineteen dumpings. I won’t spoil any more of this clever and imaginative book. Aside from being a story about finding true love, AoK is also about finding and being your true self.

Green has a knack for writing interesting, humorous characters and snappy dialogue. Colin, with his genius IQ, quirky anagrams and stolid bookish ways, is no exception. Hassan is his slacker comic relief, constantly supporting Colin and putting him down at the same time. Lindsey (who you just know is perfect for Colin, no spoiler there) is smartly confined within herself, wrapped up in her handsome boyfriend and a façade of happiness.

AoK is one of Green’s funniest novels. Liberally sprinkled within are smart and amusing footnotes, which add to the experience. The math behind the relationship formula is by brilliant mathematician Daniel Bliss, and can be found in an appendix at the end of the book (the math is real).

I thoroughly recommend AoK to anyone who likes quirky, romantic novels. It’s Green’s shortest book, so you’ll finish it in no time. And be better for the experience.

* For reviews of some of Green’s other books, click on The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and Turtles All The Way Down

Published by stevestillstanding

I’m a writer who loves tabletop role playing games, poetry and (you guessed it) writing. Occasionally I have something to say...

20 thoughts on “An Abundance of Katherines. A Book Review.

      1. Graham Greene’s ‘The End of the Affair’, Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’, Tim Winton’s ‘Eyrie’. Then the last John Green novel! 🙂


      2. I’ve done some research. I haven’t heard of Greene or Winton before but I had Neuromancer on a distant list. Now I know Greene belongs with the classics, and Winton intrigues me. Although Eyrie might not be as representative of his works. Any suggestion which of his works to start with? (Someday.)
        And I have an urge to read Neuromancer until 17th. It would be a nice challenge because it’s Gibson’s birthday. Convenient, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Tim Winton is an amazing writer! The first book of his I read was ‘Breath’, and it’s a good place to start. I wrote a review, you can find it by clicking on ‘books’ under menu, or type breath into my site’s search bar. I don’t write reviews of everything I read, just the things I think are great (and if I’ve got the time lol). Good luck with your reading 🙂


      4. I’ve read the Neuromancer. It wasn’t until the 17th but one week later. I know it’s a classic but it left me somewhat cold. Probably because I didn’t understand it. I should have read it in translation. It had its peaks, though. And such an analysis potential. But I won’t spoil it for you. Have a nice reading.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m reading Neuromancer at the moment, along with a few other books! I’m enjoying it, but it’s certainly one you have to focus on as the future tech and slang is left to the imagination—there’s often little explanation as to what’s what. 🙂


  1. i have been following your blog for a while, but i am terrible at actually reading blogs. still i really enjoy yours! and just wanted to say thanks for following my blog as well!! i LOVE john green, and so far most of his books have made me shed a tear (or 100) tho an ambudance of katherines was not my favorite, i still like the charecters in it and his writing style! have you ordered will grayson will grayson? i tried to read this book but d=couldn’t get in to it. would love to know what you think !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I haven’t read Will Grayson Will Grayson, but will see if I can buy (or borrow) it. One for the ‘to read’ list. When I get around to it (lots of books on my list), I’ll write a review! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read this one a long time ago. It’s decent but not my favorite. I enjoy the way the author writes and his quirky characters.


  3. I love John Green’s Books. My order from favorite to least favorite would go: Turtles, TFIOS, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. I’m glad you liked this book. This review is really good.

    Liked by 1 person

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