I’ve been hanging onto this book, as well as Paper Towns, for years. I assumed that all John Green books must be amazing because I loved The Fault In Our Stars. So I bought several of his books, and never got around to reading them. I kind of wish I hadn’t started with Abundance of Katherines…because, honestly, it was a bit of a let-down after TFIOS.
Colin Singleton only dates girls named Katherine. And the 19th Katherine, the one he has most loved thus far, just broke up with him. The ultimate Katherine break-up sends Colin on a road trip with his best friend Hassan. They get detoured to a town because of a dead archduke, and Colin spends a lot of time making a formula to predict his break-ups.
Sure, there were plenty of laughs in this book. I also appreciate the great efforts the Katherine predictability math obviously took. The town Colin & Hassan end up in had an interesting, fun cast of characters.
Perhaps my only complaint is how damn unlikable Colin is. He is not self-aware, and I found that very frustrating. I enjoyed the scene where he calls up the last Katherine key to his formula, because it revealed something shocking to Colin about himself. It took a really long time, however, to get to that point.
Here’s the thing about John Green books. They often have a nerdy, not self-aware boy as the main character, who pines after a girl who will hardly give them the time of day. This plot would be incredibly frustrating and annoying if Green didn’t put a twist on it. It wouldn’t work if the guy always got the mysterious girl. And they don’t. Not in a Green book, anyways. I appreciate that about his books…they don’t follow the predictable manic pixie dream girl plot you would read in classic literature. In Abundance of Katherines, however, the twist comes too late in the story. If Colin were a bit more likable the timing would have worked, but he isn’t.
For that reason, I’m willing to bet that Abundance of Katherines will be my least favorite Green book by the time I finish reading them.
And that’s not to say I didn’t like Abundance of Katherines, because I did. It’s just not up to par with Green’s usual writing efforts.