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on September 3, 2015
I love John Green. He is one of the greats of these modern times and he is going to be remembered decades and decades down the road. That being said, 'An Abundance of Katherines' isn't my favorite book of his. Is it good? Yes. Is it as good as 'The Fault in Our Stars' and 'Looking for Alaska'? No. In my opinion, it lacks that characterization that made AFIOS and LFA. I'm sorry, Colin, but you kinda annoyed me the majority of the book and I could see why all the Katherines dumped you.

I think the reason I didn't love this book is that I have put John Green on a pedestal and this book didn't measure up. Their are certainly worse books out there. I promise. It's a great premise and very imaginative like John Green always is. But it's not my favorite book and I likely won't re-read.
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on October 8, 2015
I think I made the mistake of becoming a John Green fan by reading The Fault in Our Stars first. After that, I knew I would read anything that came from his mind, including tweets that are limited to 140 characters. He's brilliant, no question.

An Abundnce of Katherines was one of his earlier books, and after reading his most recent first, it shows. He's grown a lot as a writer. The book reads well, it does pull you in as you hope any book you begin will, but it's also predictable. The predictably is clever, and all things John Green, but I felt like I've read the idea of this story before, only by different authors and maybe not as intelligently written.

Some of that may have to do with the mathematical thereoms that are thrown into the story. Although it made it interesting, it was distracting as I've never been much of a math person.

It was easy to see that in true John Green fashion, he went to great extents in writing this book. He did his homework and enlisted those who had knowledge of things he didn't.

If you're a John Green fan, and if you are reading this I'm sure you are, I would suggest it, but I wouldn't expect it to leave you the way The Fault in Our Stars, Looking For Alaska or Paper Towns did.
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on November 23, 2015
[copied from my Goodreads review)

Was on the fence between 3* and 4* and I think the disappointing appendix caused it to drop down to 3*.

I'm a huge fan of John Green having already read The Fault in Our Stars (5*) and Paper Towns (4*) before this one. I follow him on Twitter, listen to the podcast he does with his brother, and even enjoy watching his 15-minute long AFC Wimbly Wombly YouTube videos where he just talks while playing FIFA 14. But An Abundance of Katherines feels like a lesser novel than the previous two I've read, and that may be simply because it was his second novel and I'm reading them all in reverse order.

AAoK tells the story of Colin Singleton, a child prodigy who, as he is approaching adulthood, comes to the realization that there's no such thing as adult prodigy. His ability to anagram any phrase instantly, his voracity for reading and learning, even his polyglotism will all be less and less impressive as he grows up. And so he begins to worry about what his lasting mark on society will be.

On top of all that, he's dated (and been dumped by) 19 different Katherines. No Kates or Kathryns or Catherines; for some reason, he's gone out with 19 Katherines and has always been dumped by them. He eventually has a "Eureka moment" and realizes he may be able to be remembered if he can mathematically show why these relationships didn't work out. He starts off with some simple equations and eventually works on something only math geniuses could comprehend or plot in an attempt to show how long a relationship will last and who will dump whom. If he could only make this equation work, maybe he can see a future where he and Katherine XIX would get back together.

All of this math occurs away from home (it wouldn't be a John Green novel without teenagers going on a road trip away from their parents). He and his best friend, Hassan (an overweight, Muslim slacker one year older than Colin, who'd rather sit at home and watch Judge Judy than apply to college) drive off and eventually come across Gutshot, TN—home of the final burial place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (you know the guy whose assassination prompted WWI?). Here, the two meet Lindsey Lee Wells (it wouldn't be a John Green novel without a young girl with three names)—convenience store worker extraordinaire & Ferdinand grave tour guide. She figures mattering (or ever leaving Gutshot) is overrated and is more than happy to grow old and die in her little town, a nice foil to Colin.

Lindsey's mother, Hollis, runs a factory that basically only produces tampon strings and also employs basically the whole town. She hires the boys to join her daughter in a new mission—interviewing people who work or have worked at the factory to create an oral history of Gutshot. The boys agree and the three of them have some wacky adventures. Colin continues to work on his Theorem, Hollis meets a hot chubby chaser who makes him second guess his Muslim beliefs, and Lindsey acts all manic pixie dream girly, all while dating TOC (The Other Colin), your standard captain of the football team popular guy.

Whereas Green's previous (to me but later in, you know, real time) novels TFiOS and PT both have some deeper characters and better stories, AAoK was lacking. Sure it made me chuckle but Colin was overly annoying, Lindsey overly MPDG, and Hassan overly funny about his weight. Everything felt just a little too unrealistic (19 Katherines?! Unintentionally?!?) and parts of it were kind of boring. The will-they-or-won't-they between Colin and Lindsey was cute but predictable. The main thing this book had going for it were the footnotes used throughout (reminded me of all the great footnotes in A Selective History of Max Werner) and one of the footnotes promised an appendix that would explain the math behind Colin's Theorem.

Well, I guess the appendix was written for people like John Green who aren't good at math. It describes what an equation is and how you'd graph one but doesn't get into the actual math behind this:

https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/photo.goodreads.com/hostedimages/1444451863i/16503282.png

There's no talk about if this equation is graphing in radians or degrees. There's no talk about what the rightmost part (the one with the absolute value) is doing there. I was a math major and I'm trying to "see" what this is doing and I cannot grasp parts of it and when I try to graph it, I get errors with certain values of H. I was hoping the appendix would be an actual mathematical paper going into how the mathematician behind this equation came up with it. Sure it produces a few nice graphs, but I was hoping to see all 19 graphed out. We got the stories of all 19 Katherines, but I wanted to see the math of all 19 Katherines!

The appendix was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT (which anagrams to UNHAPPIEST DEMOTING which is what happened with my 3.5* falling to a 3*)!

I'm sure I'll still get around to reading Looking for Alaska someday (probably closer to when that movie is coming out, but I'm in no real hurry any longer. Maybe this book was just a sophomore slump..
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on April 12, 2016
I can't help it. I just love John Green's characters and their voices. He has the best way of describing EVERYTHING. And the footnotes are hilarious and awesome.

Pros:
Narrator's voice is awesome
Characters are well-rounded and funny
Ending has expected and unexpected parts
Excellent last line
Well-written
Fun to read

Cons:
I wish he'd resolved one of the issues that arose in the book, but it's realistic that he didn't, so I can't be too upset by it
It's full of weird facts, which don't bother me but might bother some people
Colin thinks way too much....and in weird ways (but normal and expected given his character)
Honestly, I'm struggling to come up with cons...

I really hope my books are as cleverly written as his.
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on July 31, 2016
Let me start this review by saying I'm a pretty big John Green fan. I started with Paper Towns, which I got as a gift, reading it in one sitting. I liked it so much that I went out and bought Looking for Alaska and read that in an all-nighter session, too. I loved Alaska. It covers the meaning of life while introducing three unforgettable characters: Pudge, The Colonel, and Alaska. And no, I didn't have to Google the names.
Everyone always talks about A Fault in our Stars, but I was more curious about Green's sophomore effort, An Abundance of Katherines. Unlike Paper Towns and Alaska, I didn't read this in one sitting. It took several sessions for me to get through this.
At first, I liked it well enough. We've got Colin, a depressed wannabe protege who has just been dumped for the umpteenth time by a Katherine, who is being pushed to get out and live by his lazy, underachieving friend, the comic relief character, Hassan. Hassan doesn't have a job and he has taken a year off before going to college. The two decide to take a road trip. Of course?
I'm not going to go through the plot, but let's just say it's very forgettable in comparison to Alaska. Will Colin learn that there is more to life than getting dumped by girls with the same name and find a cool new girl (perhaps with a different name)? Will Hassan learn the meaning of hard work?
Throughout the book we get a bunch of flashbacks to Colin's past relationships, but I can't say I was enthralled by these sections. They feel a bit pointless, and while some flashbacks are funny (like Colin getting dumped immediately by Katherine 1), most scenes just tend to drag because I found myself not caring.
Let me explain, the reason I loved Alaska and Paper Towns was because the characters were so lovable, but here, meh, I just didn't connect. Sure, Hassan is funny, but he feels one-dimensional. His shtick wore thin relatively quickly. Colin, well, I just found him to be a whiny s***, to be honest. He's a loser, like Pudge, but without the charm and mannerisms that made me connect with that character.
I think the main problem is that John Green wrote this in third-person, as opposed to first-person. The writing feels more distant. I just didn't buy what I was reading. Whereas, even the scenes in Alaska that felt made-up at least had a lovable humor or character developing aspect to them. Here, everything kind of feels forced.
That's not to say I hated this book or anything, but in comparison to Green's other work, it feels clunky. And the ending, while nice, doesn't have the same moral impact or twist as his other works had. Overall, I'd skip this unless you're a Green Completist.
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on November 29, 2015
(2.5 stars)Colin has always dated Katherines and has always been dumped by them. He is a former child prodigy and is now transitioning to adulthood. He decides to take a road trip with his friend and they end up in a small town in Tennessee. There he begins working on a theorum of relationships, figuring out the factors that determine what happens in a relationship. In their time in town, he makes new friends and figures out more about himself and life and realizes that life may hold more for him that he initially anticipated. The book includes his passion for anagrams, footnotes and mathematical modeling.
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on July 20, 2016
John Green is a great author. This is one of his better books. I cannot wait for the movie. This is a great book for all ages and would make a great gift to anyone that enjoys reading. The item arrived fast and well packaged. I couldn't believe the prices of his books on amazon versus my local bookstore. I will buy more of John Greens books in the future and would even give one as a gift. Very good read.
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on April 20, 2016
Anything by John Green is amazing. This book came in flawless shape. Super pleased with this product. Arrived on time in flawless condition. Will recommend to my family and friends. Hope to do business with this seller again in the near future. Next time I'm looking for a product similar to this, I will definitely keep this seller in mind and be sure to tell others I know about where I got mine. High quality product well worth the money spent on it. Thank you! A++
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on November 16, 2015
John Green never fails to impress. I had to read a realistic fiction book for my language arts class, and so I just picked this book out as I had heard many of my peers talking about it. It's wonderful. It has a great story and moral to it and the twist was shocking. Would suggest for anyone 12+, maybe 13+. There are inappropriate parts but this book is hilarious still. Truly recommend it.
{ps. check out my blog lovinglyjessica.com. I will be posting a review of An Abundance of Katherines on there in a few days!}
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on September 17, 2015
I love how John Green can capture the essence of being a smart but somewhat lost teenager without making his characters cliche. This book's plot is well-developed and his characters are all believable and quirky, which is what makes Green a great writer for all ages to enjoy. Every book of his makes you think--changes something in you in some way--this one's no different. While it's not my favorite of Green's novels, it is definitely a good read and a must-read for his fans.
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