Top positive review
96 people found this helpful
A quirky coming-of-age novel with an original plot!
on March 6, 2008
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