An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
reviewed by Fiona Stayton
In life, people tend to want to take the “safe” route. Society has implanted the idea to be afraid of change. In John Green’s novel, An Abundance of Katherines, it is apparent that the main character, Colin Singleton, is terrified at the thought of change.
Colin Singleton, a seventeen-year-old anagramming child prodigy, is good at everything but romantic relationship, even though he has a lot of practice. He falls in love a lot, and always with girls named Katherine. In fact, he has never once had a girlfriend with any other name, even though single Katherine he has ever dated, nineteen to be exact, wound up dumping him.
That’s what it means to be afraid of change.
Heart broken by Katherine number nineteen, Colin and his best friend, Hassan Harbish, decide enough is enough. What they need is a road trip to nowhere.
Nowhere turns out to be a small town called, appropriately enough, Gutshot.
I have only read John Green’s romantic novels, so when I started reading this book, s full of math theorems and a teenager upset because although he is a prodigy, he is not a genius (we should all have this problem), I wasn’t sure I would find the story interesting. Loving John Green however, I decided to give it a try. By the first chapter, I was completely hooked, not being able to put it down. Filled with humor and a relationship-predicting theorem, An Abundance of Katherines helped me learn the same thing Colin did: Love comes when you least expect it.
The novel begins with Colin graduating college only to be congratulated by being dumbed by Katherine nineteen. Sitting in the bathtub, he’s feeling pretty sorry for himself—not a genius! No girlfriend! Fortunately, Hassan decides that what Colin really needs is to man up and get over it. With an aching behind his solar plexus, Colin agrees to a road trip. The two end up in Gutshot, because Colin insisted on seeing the grave of the Archduke, and there they meet an unlikely companion, Lindsay Lee Wells.
Lindsay Lee Wells seems to be Colin’s exact opposite. Unambitious and driven by popularity, she is determined to stay in Gutshot where there is no possible way for her to be hurt. Colin and Hassan like Gutshot, and Lindsay, too and end up staying at Lindsay’s house.
As Colin copes with his Katherine addiction, John Green manages to bring each character to life, building a background for each one. Having the writing skill to get each reader fall for each character, Green show how a person can memorize every textbook, know every vocab word, and get a 4.6 G.P.A., but never understand the heart, and how the heart loves.