Title: An Abundance Of Katherines
Author: John Green
This is the third John Green book I’ve read. The other two are Looking For Alaska and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan). Those two are among my favorite books ever, and I hoped that Katherines will be just as good.
It’s a story about child prodigy (not a genius, okay, just a prodigy), Colin Singleton. He’s really good at languages and anagramming, but he’s not so good at relationships. He’s a Dumpee. And he’s just been dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine. To try to recover from his latest (and longest) relationship, he goes on a roadtrip with his best friend, Hassan.
They end up in a small town where pretty much everyone works at the same factory. And no one really wants to leave, because they’re all happy where they are. But Colin wants to matter, he wants to be remembered for something, so he decides to write a formula that predicts which of two people in a relationship is going to end the relationship and when.
I think the whole ‘predicting the future with math’ thing is fascinating, but I suck at math, so I didn’t really understand much about the formula. But for those who like math, there’s an appendix at the end of the book where Daniel Biss, a mathematician, explains how the formula works.
I found Colin’s anagrams a lot of fun. I wonder how long it takes John Green to write those.
My favorite parts of the book were ‘Colin is so smart’ parts. I love the scene where Hassan explains to Lindsey how Colin remembers stuff. (Btw, Lindsey is this girl they meet in that small town. She’s cool.) Here’s what he says:
“It’s like, if you or me sat down and read a book about, say, the presidents, and we read that William Howard Taft was the fattest president and one time he got stuck in a bathtub, that might click in our brains as interesting, and we’d remember it, right? You and me will read a book and find like three interesting things that we remember. But Colin finds everything intriguing. He reads a book about presidents and he remembers more of it because everything he reads clicks in his head as fugging interesting. Honestly, I’ve seen him do it with the phone book. He’ll be like, ‘Oh, there are twenty-four listings for Tischler. How fascinating.’”
One thing that annoyed me in the book was Hassan’s and Colin’s use of ‘fug’. But he explains that later in the book. The explanation is quite interesting and it made me add another book to my TBR list 🙂