Customer Review

82 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky coming-of-age novel with an original plot!, March 6, 2008
This review is from: An Abundance of Katherines (Hardcover)
Since I've always been a fan of Young Adult and Juvenile books--love to read them, love to write them--I just had to see what all the fuss was about with author John Green's coming-of-age novel. What sets it apart from others in the genre?

I started reading and quickly found out: it's an original concept, a laugh-out-loud funny story, complete with satire and an American road trip that's unlike any road trip I ever took. I'm enamored with this book and Green's main character, Colin Singleton, a loner with a quirky fascination for anagrams, math and odd facts. His main problem is that he has a hard time making friends, but NO problem with finding girlfriends.

But keeping them is another story!

At the end of his senior year of high school, "Katherine the Nineteenth" dumps him ... only the latest in a chain of rejections. As a result, he becomes indecisive about his future and begins to question his identity, his future.

What is Colin's problem? Why can't he keep his friends? When his friend Hassan suggests a road trip, what happens when the boys take off? What does a cemetery in the middle of rural Tennessee have to do with him? And who's Archduke Franz Ferdinand? Will Colin and Hassan fulfill Colin's quest to understand why he is always being dumped by his girlfriends?

Since Colin is a fading prodigy whose hobbies include making anagrams, memorizing odd historical facts, mathematical equations, and dating girls named Katherine, what mathematical equation does he formulate to explain why so many dump him? And just how many Katherines make an "abundance?"

You're invited on Colin's journey to find the answers to all those questions, but I can tell you one thing without spoiling the plot: you're in for one hilarious road trip!

An Abundance of Katherines has a little bit of everything: adventure, humor, math, verbal games, little-known historical facts, and humorous tales of boy/girl relationships as the boys begin to learn more about the opposite sex.

Green is such a masterful storyteller with a talent for creating believable characters, I couldn't put this book down. I hope he writes a sequel because I'd like to have some more fun adventures with Colin and Hassan.

This hardcover version was published by Dutton Juvenile in 2006, but the paperback is due for release in August 2008. Since it's to be listed at $3.99, I suggest waiting until then to read it. What a bargain!

A final note: This is one of those YA books geared for adults too. I'm not the only one who enjoyed it; many of the rave reviews are from adults. I would have given it five stars, but in a few places it was not as smooth as it could have been.

Film rights to John Green's Printz-award-winning first book, Looking For Alaska, were acquired by Paramount Pictures, with production in its early stages.

Reviewed by: Betty Dravis, 2008
author of: The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley
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Showing 1-10 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 6, 2008 2:22:53 PM PST
I'd like an abundance of Bettys instead :)

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 4:25:52 PM PST
Linda Bulger says:
HA! Funny, Colette -- she's an original, you won't find her match anywhere, you know! but have fun looking!

Betty, another great review. You always do this to us: tell us just enough to get us hooked and then it's "RIFY" -- read it for yourself. How do you DO that? And you know how I love a road trip, or a road trip story ... August, hmmm? that's a long time away.

Colin sounds like one of my sons, except for the Katherines. Anagrams, math ... maybe I'll buy the book and save it for my granddaughters when they're old enough to enjoy it, like next year (they're young but precocious).

Posted on Mar 6, 2008 6:46:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 6, 2008 6:48:05 PM PST
Hehehehe, Colette! Youse is a funny girl! So witty today, but what a sweet thing to say. (There IS an abundance of me, hon, but all in one body. Dang it!) :-)

Aw-www, shucks, Linda! Thanks for the huge compliment! Glad I hooked you because I appreciate this author's unusual premise and I think it's hilarious his main character dating only girls named Katherine. How original is that? (Sure hurts the chances of all the Lindas, Colettes and Bettys out there!) I was thinking of you when our hero's friend first suggested a road trip. And if August is too far away to wait for the paperback of this book, the hardcover is only around $11. ... which is a good price too. I'm surprised Dutton is selling them at such reasonable prices. And YOU, sweetie, would enjoy it just as much as your granddaughters, so buy it for them and read it before sending! :)

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 7:14:02 AM PST
D. Wilson says:
Hey Betty, not much to add here(I'm a self-professd ignorant goon... comic books are all I dabble in LOL!) but I did drop you a couple well-deserved positive votes(you definitely know your stuff) for the great reviews(even though they are books LOL!). Take care Betty!

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 9:53:48 AM PST
Sounds like a fun read Bettycakes. Your review made this selction very appealing.

Your own, Metamorpho ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2008 12:17:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2008 12:18:27 PM PST
Hey, DW,
Who you kidding? I see all that horror stuff you review, and I like horror too. But if you're sincere that you like comics, then you just must get my THE TOONIES INVADE SILICON VALLEY. The most unusual cartoon characters you ever saw, and many folks tell me they'd love to see TOONIES as a comic book series (after it becomes an animated film, of course) :-)

Thanks for the comp on my reviews and the positive votes. With a nasty negginator lurking, I need all the YESes I can get! You're the best!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2008 1:04:10 PM PST
U R very appealing, Most High Holy Seer! :)

Posted on Mar 8, 2008 8:37:39 PM PST
Hey Betty,
I've looked at this book several times but it seems too old for the girls in my school. However, this is a great review! Loved it!

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 9:18:44 AM PDT
Groovin' guy says:
I'm already seeing a bunch of Bettys in the profile pix.

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 11:39:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2008 11:40:37 AM PDT
Well, Judy, if this book doesn't fit, try my TOONIES INVADE SILICON VALLEY (publisher recommends it for 8-13 but Amazon has it in 9-12 category (they have NO 8-13 age-range). ... hint! hint! But if I don't strum my own guitar, who will? You read me, girl-friend? :)

Hey, Groovy, My, aren't you the witty one today! I hope you know those are "friends and fans" reading my books. I'll post a few more of them and then return to my own FACE for awhile. Do you miss the original Betty? :)
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4.2 out of 5 stars (877 customer reviews)
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Location: Silicon Valley, CA

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