Saturday, September 20, 2008

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin is a child prodigy who just graduated from high school and has just had his heart broken by his girlfriend-Katherine. He only dates girls named Katherine and has the same result eighteen previous times-the relationship never works out. He is also disappointed that he is now an adult and never did anything outstanding to prove that he was a true child prodigy.

Colin and his best friend Hassan head out on a road trip to clear their minds and figure out life when they end up in a rural West Tennessee town called Gutshot. (Gutshot claims to be home of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the person responsible for the first shot of WWI). Here they meet Lindsey and her mother Hollis, whose family runs the local textile factory that produces tampon strings and is the major employer of this tiny town.

Hollis invites the boys to spend the summer in Gutshot and employs them to visit various community members to record their personal memories of the town and factory. Colin is also busy working on his relationship theory that will predict the outcome of all relationships. He uses his past relationships with the many Katherines and with a little help from Lindsey and some realizations of the truth-Colin figures out the theorem. (Which is explained in the appendix, and is actually quite fascinating.)

Not only do Colin and Hassan have an interesting summer making new friends (and girlfriends!) and have all kinds of new adventures, but they both make some important personal decisions and learn a lot about themselves.

What I Thought:

I am never disappointed when it comes to John Green’s books. This is an outstanding work, and I found myself pondering this book for days. I actually found this summary very difficult to write, as so much good stuff going on I had trouble making it short enough for a short summary. (And I probably did not do such a great job summarizing, but hey…I’m still learning!)

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story and great literature. (I think this book is also slated to be a movie sometime in the future.) A plus for some may be the use of anagrams and math. (I enjoyed the anagrams, not so much the math…..that would not be surprising to anyone who knows me!) It was a Printz Honor Book.

In the meantime, I will continue to anticipate the release of Green’s next book Paper Towns due out in October. (And if you have not read Looking for Alaska-Green’s first work- you should RUN to the nearest bookstore or library and read it today. It is that good.)

Want to see more? Check it out on Amazon: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

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