An Abundance of Katherines is a YA novel by American author John Green, published in 2006. Colin Singleton, a former child prodigy, is struggling to find a “eureka” moment in his life to finally prove his genius. Colin takes a road trip with his friend Hassan Harbish in order to break out of his slump.
For those of you that have been with me for a while, you will know that I myself am an author, and a longtime nerdfighter (fan of vlogbrothers, which John is half of). John Green has always been a huge inspiration to me as a writer for both my blog, my books. His candid nature when it comes to mental health has helped me and and many others.
That out of the way, this is John’s worst performing book by a very large margin. I’m not saying it’s bad, in fact I would say it’s tied for his second favorite book of mine with The Fault in our Stars. The reason it preformed so badly is because unlike John’s other works, it is in a third person, involves no tragedy or difficult emotions, and “lacks inspiration” is what many others say. To a certain extent, I would agree with the last one… There isn’t exactly the same heart in this that you will find in TFioS or Looking For Alaska, which I also think about Paper Towns, BUT this one is fun while that one isn’t. That’s the thing that saves this book for me, is that it is just a lot of fun.
Although An Abundance of Katherines “lacks inspiration” I would say that it thrives in character. I found my self really enjoying all the little formulas and graphs spread throughout this. I listened to an audio book while working but kept a physical copy nearby to flip to all the little pictures in here. Very much like Infinite Jest and I’d love to see John tackle something like that again. The characters themselves are a breath of fresh air as well. Though the main female protagonist is your stereotypical mani-pixie-dreamgirl, shes not as much that as, let’s say, Alaska, or Margo. Shes very strong and I would say a good role model for girls. I dug the strange chemistry between her and Colin.
The ending is a bit lackluster, and you aren’t exactly left with great questions or feeling like you read a masterpiece, but that’s okay. This book is fun and it gets far too much shit just because it doesnt have some great tragedy. John Green breaks his style in only his second book and I’d love to see him return to something like this one day. Maybe take a break from bringing me to tears.