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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

This book is so much fun to read.  I really connected with the characters because none of them were perfect.  Colin is a child prodigy that thinks he is all washed up and won’t matter the rest of his life.  Colin’s best friend, Hassan, is a hefty Muslim who mostly tries to live by his faith but sometimes he doesn’t quite make it.  Lindsey feels like she is never herself around anyone and doesn’t quite know who she really is.

Be warned while An Abundance of Katherines is a fun, pretty easy read, there is a giant math formula that Colin works on creating.  There is no requirement to understand the math itself, just what Colin is trying to do with it.  John Green had Daniel Bliss help him with creating the formula.  Bliss also writes an appendix that helps explain how the formula is used and what everything means in it.  They do try to make sure people realize that the formula is not something to take seriously.  It is just for fun.  I did try it though (at this website: http://www.palegreenthings.net/) and it worked for my most recent relationship, lol.

Green does a great job getting the reader to like a fairly unlikable main character.  Colin has only one friend, Hassan, and is fairly self-absorbed.  During a fight these guys have in the book, Hassan calls Colin out for ditching him every time a new Katherine comes along (which is 19 times although some of them happen before their friendship begins).  Hassan also tells Colin fairly often that what he is saying is not interesting.  Because Colin is a child prodigy, he has a lot of facts floating around in his head.  He does not realize that most people do no care about most of what he knows and decides to share.  Even though Colin and Hassan seem like unlikely friends and have troubles with their friendship, they understand each other and it is actually a great relationship.

A lot of the extra stuff Green includes in the book is what creates the humor.  The main source of jobs in Lindsey’s town is to work at a factory that produces tampon strings.  The main attraction is the tomb of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which turns out to just be an anagram (which is Colin’s favorite things to do with words).  Lindsey’s house is completely pink and her mom drives a pink truck.

If you are looking for a light, easy, fun read go with this book.  I have also found it interesting to look at some of what John Green has to say about it which you can do here: http://johngreenbooks.com/katherines-questions/

Cover of "An Abundance of Katherines"