There you have my review about in just few sentences. I know I can’t live without talking more about it, because that is all was motivating me to finish the book.
The story starts with Colin, a prodigy being dumped by his 19th girlfriend named Katherine. Yes you heard it right. He dates only girls named Katherine, with that exact spelling. He is heart broken and decides he is completely useless, ie, he doesn’t matter. His superpowers are he could anagram any word, can speak in several languages and socially awkward. His only friend, Hassan takes him on a roadtrip to nowhere specific. And ends up seeing the place where Archduke Franz Ferdiand is buried (yes the guy from WW I) at Gutshot, Tennessee. Ok long story short, he makes friends with Lindsey and Hassan ends up kissing the hot girl Katrina. After 100 pages, Colin finds a theorem that could predict the life span of any relationship and dates Lindsey. End of the story and sorry for the spoiler. Colin learns to narrate a story!
Ok seriously, nothing ever happens in the book at all. I really tired liking it though. I particularly wasn’t liking any character at all – neither whiny, self obsessed, self absorbed so called child prodigy Colin nor the self absorbed and nothing to offer to the story female lead Lindsey. Not even the other insufferable smaller characters.
And hope you will forgive my generalizing of John Green’s books (I have read three now), but I still have to find any person, let alone teens, being so nerdy (again forgive me using the most over used word in the past few years). Seriously I am yet to meet even one single person who actually speaks like any of these characters
And if you knew where ever they were hiding, please please let me know – I really need to make friends with them. But these characters in all of his stories seem to have the best of friends – equally nerdy ones. Come on, it is killing me. Be it Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars, or Alaska and Sam from Looking for Alaska, or every one (Collin, Hassan and Lindsey) from AOK. If I hate him creating too good to be true, ‘unique’ characters and making my normal life miserable, I wish him hell for making socially dysfunctional to be cool. We have had enough off the same churn. Dear Mr Green show us real life characters, I understand it is a book of fiction but I am not interested in old wine in new bottle, even if we had liked the old wine.
I tried really hard to like the book and went to the extent of bookmarking favorite quotes and stuff – but after a while I felt I was doing the same thing Colin / Green did – searching for something that would matter when there was absolutely no other sense at all. I am actually frightened to say this aloud, is John Green the western version of Chetan Bhagat? His characters are smarter, I get it. But there are too many of clichés thar keep repeating and making me feel so.
Ok now for some of those over hyped quotes:
“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
“If people could see me the way I see myself – if they could live in my memories – would anyone love me?”
“He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.”
“You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.” (did anyone else remembered Dhrishyam?)
In conclusion, AOK was an ok read, but yet another book that let me down mainly because of the hype around.