An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines

Book - 2008
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After he is dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to find a new direction in life, while trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relationships.
Publisher: New York : Speak, 2008, c2006.
ISBN: 9780142410707
0142410705
Branch Call Number: TF Realist Gree
Characteristics: 227, 22 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.

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Having been recently dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, recent high school graduate and former child prodigy Colin sets off on a road trip with his best friend to try to find some new direction in life while also trying to create a mathematical formula to explain his relati... Read More »


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Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

3.5/5

An Abundance of Katherines follows the story of child prodigy Colin Singleton who is obsessed with anagrams and is only attracted to girls named Katherine. After being dumped by the nineteenth Katherine, he’s left heartbroken. Trying to cheer him up, Colin’s best, and only friend Hassan decides to take a road trip together. Throughout the entire trip, Colin looks for his “Eureka moment” and to develop a theorem and a mathematical equation that will predict the outcome of a romantic relationship. He craves to feel mattered and like he will make create an impact on the world.

The two end up in Gunshot, Tennessee after noticing a sign apparently claiming that it is the resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. There, Colin and Hassan meet Lindsey, and they all become good friends. The two boys are employed by Lindsey’s mother, Hollis, for the summer. Their job is to interview people in Gutshot so Hollis can develop a timeline of the funky town. The story carries on with entertaining shenanigans like Colin and Hassan (unsuccessfully) hunting feral pigs, getting beat up by a different Colin, and talking to oldsters, as Colin learns that his future cannot be predicted and that it goes on forever.

This novel ends with the three friends driving past a restaurant they were intending to go to, after realizing that they could go anywhere, and not be stopped, as the future was bright and welcoming.

I enjoyed this book by John Green, like I do with most of his books, but I believe that I was waiting for more intense or dramatic events to happen. It was somewhat slow-paced but very logical and fact-filled which made it quirky and unique! The characters were relatable in a way that they wanted to matter, make a difference, and struggled to overcome an obstacle during the road trip. There were some deeper themes integrated into this book about character development and maturing which I definitely noticed in Colin.

I recommend An Abundance of Katherines to young adults and teenagers who enjoy quirky, coming-of-age novels.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 10, 2021

John Green has delivered yet again another hilarious book about teenage struggles. It follows the journey of Colin Singleton, a guy who’s been dumped by nineteen Katherines. I love how nerdy yet hilarious this book was. It shows the importance of friendship as Hassan's and Colin’s friendship really shined through with their loyalty for each other. The characters were quirky and original. I found that I could relate to some of the things Colin and Hassan mentioned. The dialogue was my favourite part because of how whip-smart Colin is. The plot was a little bumpy, and kept going back to the past and then to the present, which was difficult to follow. The mathematics, anagrams and historical facts were an amazing bonus added to the story. It really built on Colin's character. The character development was also incredible to watch for both Hassan and Colin. Overall, I would rate this a 4.5 out of 5.
@India_ink of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is bland. Quite honestly, by reading the back i thought the book would be quite interesting to see how Colin, the protagonist would prove how predictable Katherines could be - but that’s wasn’t the case. An abundance of the book was flat out boring, it took me way longer to read than usual. The plot isn’t really there, I didn’t feel engaged until nearing the end of the book. It took a road trip, a not-so-likeable sidekick and the Archduke who set off WWI to create this plot line. It made Colin live a little, which in retrospect; never happened with him. He did things out of his comfort zone. Overall the book was okay, but bland. I would recommend to 14 or 15+ - only because there are certain topics mentioned throughout the book that you learn in Grade 9 or 10. The plot line could have been a lot better, bringing the element of adventure in it rather than a repetitive nature of the daily task of work. The moral was to not always believe that the “smart kid” is right, that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has their own problems but with a little belief in yourself, anything is possible.
@tigercats04 of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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Figureskatergirl
Apr 26, 2020

John Green is pretty good, but I don’t think that this is one of his finest books. For me the book went pretty slow, but some parts did catch your attention. I think for me there wasn’t really a plot, and there was too much math. But I definitely loved those quirky characters.

m
miltonslibrarycard
Feb 11, 2020

Not John Green's best novel but still really nice. It's a light read with charming prose and lovable characters. Although not in the first person like many of John Green's books, it still feels like the narrator has a personality, in part because of the quirky footnotes.

d
dylankemp
Feb 02, 2020

Cool, quick, light, easy read. Well, easy if you skip the maths, which you totally can. Quirky characters do a road trip and meet some quirky characters. I enjoyed it.

l
Linyarai
Aug 06, 2018

I read this for the "a book with a character sharing your name " part of my 2018 reading challenge. I didn't love it, I was annoyed for the first 3/4 then it picked up a bit at the end. Apparently not a lot of books have a "Lindsey".

i
ishacappisha
Aug 05, 2018

Although it doesn't compare to "The Fault in Our Stars" it still generated enough curiosity to finish the book. Like all the other John Green books it has a plot that I definitely don't see everyday. And also has a romance that you secretly root for.

s
shangz
Jul 10, 2018

Meh.
John green is one of my all time favourite authors, but an abundance of katherines? Well it did not live up to my “green” expectations.
Basically every John green book had some thing important at stake. In the fault in our stars it was life as well as youth, in paper towns it was Margo Roth speiglman aka love,
In looking for Alaska, it was the need to remember.
But in “abundance of katherines” it had too much at stake, while not adding suspense to the story.

This was my least favourite book by John green.

d
donutwombat
Aug 09, 2017

I opened this book with great enthusiasm, and closed it with disappointment. John Green is a absolutely amazing author, but this book isn't far as well written as The Fault in Our Stars. I think mainly there wasn't much plot and too much math.

GCPL_Teen Jun 30, 2017

The narrator is a little nerdy and totally relatable to all the bookworms out there!

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Quotes

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d
devreads
Jun 18, 2019

"You can love someone so much. But you can never love people as much as you can miss them."

d
devreads
Jun 11, 2019

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a dirty lie."

d
devreads
Jun 11, 2019

"I love you so much and I just want you to love me like I love you."

m
maddog_
May 31, 2019

"Dude, if Kentucky is going to remind you of Paris, we're in a hell of a pickle."

b
BlackCat_13
Sep 02, 2017

"Yeah. God. We could, couldn't we? We could just keep going."
--Lindsey Lee Wells

g
gomez7
Aug 12, 2017

(Part 2) But there’s another way. There are stories. Maybe stories don’t just make us matter to each other – maybe they’re also the only way to the infinite mattering he’d been after for so long. Say I tell someone about my feral hog hunt. Even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward – every smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last, and so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than none. And it wasn’t only the remembered stories that mattered. There’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.
That brief walk – from the screened-in porch outside to the Hearse – was one of those moments he knew he’d remember and look back on, one of those moments that he’d try to capture in the stories he told. Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.

g
gomez7
Aug 12, 2017

(Part 1) Collin all of a sudden realized: you can make a Theorem that explains why you won or lost past poker hands, but you can never make one to predict future poker hands. The past is a logical story. It’s the sense of what happened. But since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any sense at all.
In that moment, the future stretched out before Colin: infinite and unknowable and beautiful.
Collin’s brain was spinning with the implications: if the future is forever, then eventually it will swallow us all up. Even Colin could only name a handful of people who lived, say, 2,400 years ago. In another 2,400 years, even Socrates, the most well-known genius of that century, might be forgotten. The future will erase everything – there’s no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion. The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible.

g
gomez7
Aug 12, 2017

Okay, here’s the thing about storytelling: you need a beginning, and a middle, and an end. And you need a good, strong moral. Or a theme or whatever. And the other thing is romance and adventure. You’ve got to put some of those in. If it’s a story about peeing into a lion cage, give yourself a girlfriend who notices how gigantic your winky is and then saves you from the lion at the last second by tackling you, because she’s desperate to save that gorgeous, ginormous winky. In the beginning, you need to pee; in the middle, you do; in the end, through romance and adventure, your winky is saved from the jaws of a hungry lion by the pluck of a young girl motivated by her abiding love for giant winkies. And the moral of the story is that a heroic girlfriend, combined with a giant winky, will save you from even the most desperate situations.

j
jazzyjasmin646
Jun 21, 2015

"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable"

SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"The morning after noted child progidy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath."

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bigcoweye
Jun 15, 2018

bigcoweye thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

RobertELPL Mar 06, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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cutelion918
Jan 25, 2017

cutelion918 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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EmilyA18
Feb 05, 2016

EmilyA18 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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ekimber
Jun 06, 2015

ekimber thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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maevej18
Aug 29, 2014

maevej18 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 30 and 11

violet_elephant_757 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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bellacrysler
Jun 24, 2014

bellacrysler thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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ElainaL
Jan 31, 2014

ElainaL thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

white_cheetah_89 Dec 17, 2013

white_cheetah_89 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

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Summary

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jazzyjasmin646
Jun 28, 2015

Colin is a child prodigy, but that doesn't stop him from making the same mistake, falling for girls named Katherine. Colin's parents want him to get out of the house and so he and his friend, Hassan, go on a road trip. Many adventurous and funny moments occur throughout their spontaneous journey. Will Colin break his bad habits of dating Katherine's? Or is his doomed to repeat this mistake of the past?

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Keep_On_Rockin
Apr 04, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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