Complete with history, literature, math, travel, romance, a plethora of footnotes, teenage angst, and just enough hysterical comedy, is the young adult novel An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. The book chronicles the story of Colin Singleton, a child prodigy who struggles with relationships with girls named Katherine, nineteen to be specific. As we meet Colin, or Colon as he was unfortunately nicknamed at school, he has just been dumped by the beautiful Katherine XIX. In a change of events, his comedic friend Hassan convinces Colin to join him on a road trip to help fix the depressed teen and help him have his Eureka moment. After many miles in Colin’s car, they end up at the grave of Archduke Ferdinand, or so they think. There they meet Lindsey Lee Wells, a resident of the small town, who is to be their tour guide. Over the next few weeks, Lindsey and a motley group of citizens in Gutshot, the fictional town where Lindsey and her mother Hollis serve as the counterparts to Colin’s story as he struggles to cope with the loss of his relationship and solve his relationship theorem. Throughout their many adventures and anagrams, Colin learns he doesn’t only love girls named Katherine. Ultimately, in a story where Colin struggles to matter, he learns you don’t have to matter at all to make a difference. He learns that Katherines aren’t the secret to happiness, and that every relationship can’t be predicted. He comes to cope with the past and live in the present of his relationships.
Many of us know Green from his YouTube endeavors in the Crash Course series and on his other channel, with his brother Hank, vlogbrothers. The same humor, personality, and fountain of fun knowledge featured in his videos are brought to his novel and make it a great read. His other novels, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and Let it Snow and Will Grayson, Will Grayson, both of which were collaborations, are also bestsellers. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found myself voraciously reading to find out the fate of Colin and his friends, and learn the background story of the Katherines. Whether you’re into the romance aspect, the educational amusement, or just for a lively read, An Abundance of Katherines appeals to a wide variety of readers. Green’s novel was a quick, fun read that is perfect to enjoy over Spring Break. It really was an abundance, not just of Katherines, but also of awesome, enjoyable reading sessions.