Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines

Oct 18, 201516 comments

So there is this book. You hear rad reviews about the author. His quotes are everywhere. And you pick it with all high hopes. Just to be sorely disappointed. Still you read on hoping it would get better. You are bored. You start doubting if it was you. You continue reading as you don’t usually quit books halfway. You now hope it will end soon. Then it does. We are talking about An Abundance of Katherines!

Abundance of Katherines

About the book

Book: An Abundance of Katherines

Author: John Green

Genre: Fiction – Drama, Young Adults

Main Characters: Colin Singleton, Lindsey, Hassan

Setting: Gutshot, The USA

The plot

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!

My thoughts

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.

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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.

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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.

Quotes that worked for me

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.”

Bottom-line

In conclusion, AOK was an ok read, but yet another book that let me down mainly because of the hype around.

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Let us chat

Have you read this one? Did this review ended up being too much rant-y? Let us talk.

16 Comments

  1. Katiria Rodriguez

    Great honest review, this is exactly how I felt with his book Looking for Alaska Young I just couldn’t stand the main characters in that book nope. I only read two books by John Green and I stop immediately reading his book when I read TFIOS. Which I like TFIOS more better than Looking For Alaska Young but I won’t be reading any more John Green books because I know I will not like his other books there are just not my kind of books that I would enjoyed. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Oh I liked Looking for Alaska more than TFIOS, TBH. But otherwise, your view is spot on!

      Reply
  2. vidya

    i have to yet read this author but my son liked one of his books and totally was bored by another (don’t recall which ones now!)

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes that sums up my thoughts too!

      Reply
  3. Kathy West

    I use John Green’s Crash Course videos with my students.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I should check that one out!

      Reply
  4. Melissa's fandom world

    Sorry you didn’t like it! Thanks for sharing your honest review!

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  5. Whispering Stories

    Pity it didn’t fully work for you. I’ve never read his work. Great review.

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I am glad I tried though.

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Yes please!

      Reply
  6. DJ Sakata

    LOL – perfect people only exist in fiction

    Reply
    • Gayathri

      I agree!

      Reply
    • Gayathri

      Have you read this one?

      Reply

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Hello there!

Gayathri loves reading, recommending books and talking about bookish things in real life. Her blog is just an extension of that habit. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she freelances as a beta reader. She lives currently in Dubai.Head over to meet me

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