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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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John Green's name has been thriving in the Young Adult book section for awhile now, setting a high standard that I hoped he would obtain. One chapter deep in his 2006 novel, An Abundance of Katherines, and I knew this was not similar to his writing styles seen in Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars. Instead, An Abundance of Katherines is a light read containing strangely amusing facts and quirky humor.

Colin Singleton, a child prodigy, is moving onto bigger and better places once he graduates from high school. Everything seems to be going well until Colin gets his heart broken. Colin's nineteenth girlfriend named Katherine has dumped him and he is at a loss for why. Defeated and depressed, Colin's best friend suggests a road trip. With nowhere else to turn, Colin accepts and the road trip stops in Gutshot, Tennessee. It is here that Colin finds not only himself, but a girl who is not named Katherine.

The writing in An Abundance of Katherines is extremely easy to follow and understand. What I found the most interesting is that the writing is in a dialogue format with references to foreign words and works. All of these references are footnoted and explained. Although slightly farfetched in a few scenes, the plot is uncomplicated and consistent. The story is set in a plausible place with believable characters. While a plausible location, there was not a point of strong imagery. I found the lack of details to be a bit of a disappointment.
As for harmony and consistency, this book has just that. Throughout the entire book, Colin Singleton is working on a formula. This formula is to try to map out a relationship, including who the dumper and who the dumpee is. Without knowing it, the formula brought Colin to find himself. I love the fact that the story never sways with Colin’s healing process. There is not one aspect in the novel that can be changed without demolishing the entire plot.
Although the plot does not exactly deal with important issues, it does provide a conscious standard. It subtly teaches a moral to not settle in life and to make a difference. The story is fast moving and gives the reader just what they want, a happy ending. I would recommend this book to anyone my age, especially if they are looking for a good read that puts a difficult situation in a lighter context.



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