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Showing 1-10 of 845 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,221 reviews
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 February 1, 2014
I'd heard so many good things about John Green books. My niece, Boo, a brilliant 16-year-old, started me on "The Fault In Our Stars." I almost didn't forgive her, considering the way I was sniffling and snuffling throughout the last half of the book. I immediately rushed out (in a virtual sense seeing as I read them all electronically) and purchased "Looking for Alaska."

It was an okay book, but I felt as if I were reading a bit of a retread.

Still, I pressed on and decided to read next "An Abundance of Katherines." It's a cute premise, in that a gifted young man with no social skills to speak of but a desperate need to be attached, finds that he's dated only girls named Katherine and thinks he's been dumped by every single one of them. Over the summer, in a very cozy situation that just happens to fall into his lap, he decides to create a mathematical algorithm to show how soon two people will split up.

Yes, he decides to math up dating.

Okay, fine. I can deal with the premise, if done well, but, really, this wasn't. Things "just happen" far too often in this book. Events occur because of coincidence an appalling number of times, especially in a book so steeped in coincidence (the many Katherines for one thing) to begin with. While the dialogue was, as always it seems with John Green, witty and snarky and very quick, it seemed the facile nature of the dialogue was merely flash designed to cover a deeper weakness with the inevitability of the plot.

As long as you're not too demanding, it's a good read. Just enjoy the dialogue and the quirky personalities and forget about why they're doing what they're doing. It'll only make your head hurt.
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on September 11, 2014
A strange plot, not very likable characters, and many, long, boring passages. Maybe this was supposed to be a complete fable, or a metaphor for something deep. Well, if it was, I completely missed it. Colin is a child prodigy who has been dumped by 19 girlfriends, all named Katherine. Now I knew that coming into the book and shame on me for not casting it aside right then and there but I'm a sucker for road trip stories and this one started out that way.....but not for long. Colin and buddy Hassan wind up in Gutshot, Tennessee, where Colin meets a charming young miss and her rube boyfriend, also Colin. No, the girl's name is not Katherine. Then not much happens for 150 pages or so. Thankfully, this is a very slim book and after another 50 pages give or take, it ends with not much of a climax. Not cute, not charming, not interesting.
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on October 23, 2015
An Abundance of Katherines is written by John Green. It is a young adult book enough sophistication and quirkiness for everyone. The main character Colin, has an amazing summer after high school, and also discovers a "tapetum ship theorem. Read An Abundance of Katherines for a great time wasting book.

Spoiler Alert!
Colin just graduated high school as a washed-up child prodigy, and for the 19th time, he was dumped by another Katherine. Colin Singleton has a quirky love for girls named Katherine and anagrams. Colin and his best friend, Hassan, embark on the road trip of all road trips.

As far as the both of them knew, this would be their last summer together, so they want to make the best of it. When they reach Gunshot, Tennesee, Colin and Hassan decide to take a tour of the gravesite of archduke Franz Ferdinand. It's not a Katherine he meets there, it's a girl named Lindsay. And When Colin told Lindsay about his theorem, about the duration of relationships, she was interested in helping her new friend find the answer. The book is sophisticated, quirky, and very humorous. The journey Colin takes to find out one simple theorem gives him an adventurous summer, where he learns the truth about himself.

My personal reaction to this book was a great aspiration to have an adventure suc as Colin and Hassan's. I admired their funny personalities and how they are such great friends. I thought it was a genius approach to involve an actual mathematical formula. That in fact (I checked) is correct for Colin Singleton's situations.

I strongly suggest you read this book, it will give a new meaming of math. John green is an excellent writer, and you will love all of his pieces. Especially, An Abundance of Katherine.
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on January 26, 2016
Really enjoyed this! John Green is one of those authors I recommend to anyone because his books are just always well done. This was my third John Green book, I read TFiOS and Paper Towns first, and I was not disappointed! The plot is simple because this is definitely character driven, but that being said all the characters were fleshed out beautifully and the friendships and romances were all relatable and believable. Colin was funny and it was great reading from his POV. Definitely recommend to all!
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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 July 11, 2015
I really enjoyed two other books by John Green, Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, which I read as paperback editions. Having just purchased a Kindle paperwhite, I bought this book in Kindle format.

This was a good read, but not nearly as enjoyable as the other books mentioned above. I won't summarize the plot here, other reviewers have done a far better job at that than I. The format of the book was interesting, with math formulas, graphs and anagrams interspersed as part of the story. I am a math geek and love anagrams so these certainly piqued my interest. However, on my Kindle the equations and graphs usually were too small to be very legible. Perhaps had I oriented the display in landscape mode they would have been sized a little larger? I do have the font sized larger than the default but it seems like the graphics don't scale up even if there is room. I also didn't realize at first that I could tap a footnote number to display the text (I'm still a bit of a Kindle noob).

At times I found myself just not caring about all of Colin's obsession with girls named Katherine (why can't he just move on?). The humorous situations he and his road trip buddy, Hassan, find themselves in did make up for the somewhat tedious rehashing of girlfriend dramas, particularly Colin's most recent Katherine. I have some disbelief that a kid who was a prodigy (and a loner with an arrogant personality) could possibly ever have had that many girlfriends growing up. But all in all it's a good story, just not great.
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on April 10, 2015

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "A picture paints a thousand words," right? While that's certainly true, I'd say that the opposite works just as well, too: A thousand words can paint a picture. And this works in many different ways - characters and worlds come to life by the simple act of writing. But behind the layer of the story, there's the unseen mastermind behind it all, and that's the one and only author. The pages upon pages of words don't just paint an otherworldly mural. They give us a glimpse into the writer's life and personality, too. I finally picked up John Green's "An Abundance of Katherines" one day after craving a smart, fun read, and found myself giggling at the ridiculous amount of smart-aleck humour packed into the two hundred or so pages. When I finished the book just a few days later, I couldn't help but think, "Man, I'd like to get coffee with this John Green guy." And if that isn't a sign of some real good writing, I don't know what is.

Before I get to the writing itself, however, I think the storyline of "An Abundance of Katherines" merits some unadulterated attention. In a nutshell, Colin Singleton is an anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy who has the misfortune of only ever falling for girls by the name of - you guessed it- Katherine. When he's dumped for the nineteenth time by K-19, Colin embarks on a road trip with his overweight, smart-aleck best friend riding shotgun, with no destination in mind but forward to anywhere with no Katherines. Being the freakishly smart prodigy he is, Colin is determined to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which is basically a geeky way to say "math formula to prove when he'll get dumped"...which sounds pretty sad, if I put it that way. The premise of the novel sounds a little wacky, but that at least puts it on the safe side of the "fun but slightly unrealistic/realistic but boring" divide that a lot of contemporary novels find themselves straddling. Trust me when I say that "An Abundance of Katherines" is both fun and, strangely enough, realistic. At least, I can believe that there's a skinny smart guy with an IQ of 160 roaming the country (though 19 Katherines might be a bit of a stretch).
One of the major reasons why the crazy storyline succeeds is the dynamic cast of characters in the novel. This isn't to say that they were exactly likable, though. I do have to admit that Colin wasn't exactly the most endearing of characters, given his propensity to whine... a lot. He basically spends most of the story talking about the great hole in his stomach after being dumped by K-19, and about how he's not a genius, but a prodigy (apparently there's a difference). While I completely understand the whole teenage angst, quarter-life crisis thing, it came to a point where Colin just wasn't likable. In fact, if he was a real person, I probably wouldn't want to hang out with him. That being said, his characterization is rendered somewhat more appropriate when you remember that this is the point of a lot of YA contemporary novels: they're about learning about yourself and growing up, which I think that Colin does at the very end of the novel. Putting our protagonist aside for a bit, I found myself being pretty ambivalent toward Lindsey. She's undoubtedly a complex, intriguing character, though to me, she fell into the character trope of the complicated, hard-to-get female counterpart with emotional baggage. The one character I definitely did find likable was Hassan, whose knee-slapping humour got me laughing out loud a lot of the time.

Now, of course, the writing. This might be related to the portrayals of the characters and the plot of the novel, but Mr. Green's writing is insane. It remains smooth throughout the novel, and is saturated with an intense dose of wit. What I think is especially great is that he manages to strike a balance between humour and narration, because there are many cases when the story gets lost in overly-insistent attempts at being funny. The footnotes were, at times, a little too much, but they added dimension (and very interesting historical, scientific and mathematical tidbits) to the narrative. However, one thing that didn't succeed as well was the actual math of Colin's Katherine Theorem. While the narrator does give the readers a pass by saying that we aren't meant to understand everything, instead providing a very comprehensive appendix of the math behind the theorem at the end of the book, the dialogue and the narration often get bogged down in the mathematical explanations. Maybe it's because I'm in no way a math genius, but toning all of the functions and equations and all that down a notch would've helped with the flow.

All in all, "An Abundance of Katherines" is a fun read that packs a serious funny-punch. While it may not be my favourite John Green book to date, it's still worth checking out if you're in for some light-hearted laughs or, you know, if you're a geek looking to tackle some math problems.

Rating: 3.5/5
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on December 25, 2014
My first book of John Green 's was "The Fault In our Stars". Maybe since I started with that book(it has now become one of my favorites) every other John Green book just seems to wash itself out. You see, while "An abundance of Katherines"(AAK) would normally be a great book, it wasn't because it's just like other John Green books. Paper Towns involved a road trip, this involved a road trip. Paper Towns (and TFIOS) had a story that, for the most part, revolved around a relationship. So does this. While this list may not seem like enough to make comparisons, when you think on it it is. It just seem like there's not much of a real plot or point, which bring me to the next issue- What was the end game? It didn't really seem like there was much of a point with this-like what was he looking for? The book just revolves around Colin doing stuff. In Paper Towns, at least Q is looking for Margo and in Tfios, we are waiting to see if someone kicks the bucket or where Hazel and Gus's relationship goes. In this book, Colin has no gf and is doing nothin more than...existing. It's just that there's no real objective, other than, in the end, to create a formula for relationships(which I wouldn't call an objective really). Next, I felt the book was a bit boring. When I began reading I thought maybe this was going to go Groundhog Day style. For example, Colin has to go and relive all his past relationships and figure out what he needs to do to stop the reliving of relationships. Personally, I feel that would have been a better plot. In AAK there isn't even really a focus on his past relationships. I wanted to know about THOSE. In addition to that, AAK just has a lot of kinda boring dialogue and scenes. You ever get that feeling when reading where you're just like"Skip, skip, skip" ? That happens a lot-and nothing is even missed! Some things seem to be a little stuck on repeat, and looking back I can only remember a few actual defining parts that stood out.
This will be the section on the good parts. AAK was actually a pretty okay book, I would have just tweaked the plot a little. The thing that pulled it through was mainly humor. I will admit that after a long streak if attempted humor, it could get annoying but for the most part it was great. I LOVED HASSAN. He was the most hilarious person. When he started calling himself papa or big daddy or whatever it was, I died. Hassan was a highlight. Next, I really liked Lindsey and her relationship with Colin(btw Lindsey is a girl that, with her mom, "boards" them in TN). Lindsey was also pretty funny and I really wanted Colin and her to get together. Something about her made me like her. Lastly, I was fond of the ending. It ended how I hoped it would and it DID NOT make me angry like Paper Towns did.
Ok, so AAK was not a great book but it also wasn't awful. The main reason I gave it 3 stars was because it didn't stand out and parts of it were boring. The story didn't really go anywhere per say. However, it did mostly satisfy me in the end and I don't regret reading it. I WOULD recommend this book, mainly for people who enjoyed Paper Towns(you don't have to have enjoyed the ending though, because they are nothing alike.)
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on August 20, 2016
I absolutely LOVED The Fault in Our Stars... I read it in one sitting and may even go as far as to say it's one of my favorites. So, naturally, I wanted to try something else from this author. What. A. Mistake. I have never in my life not finished a book; I am much too Type A of a bookworm to not finish a book. But I've had this novel for close to a year and I still can't make myself finish it. It just continues to sit on my kindle, ignored. I really can't even think of anything good to say about it. I found it to be completely boring. The main character is not at all interesting nor is anyone else in the novel. Extremely disappointed. How can someone who writes something like The Fault in Our Stars also write garbage like this?
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