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When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. He's also a washed-up child prodigy with ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a passion for anagrams, and an overweight, Judge Judy-obsessed best friend. Colin's on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which will predict the future of all relationships, transform him from a fading prodigy into a true genius, and finally win him the girl.
For once I’m not entirely sure if my dislike for the book purely stems from the book itself or from the expectations that arose prior to reading the book because a very popular author wrote this. An Abundance of Katherines is the first full-length novel of John Green that I got my hands on. The first sentence had me totally hooked but no single sentence can sustain a whole book. No matter how good that sentence is. Despite my growing reservations, I decided to continue reading, even staying up till 3 a.m. one night just to complete it. Sleep would’ve been time better spent on my part.
Things I detested more than anything after I was done reading An Abundance of Katherines:
- The term fug
- The abuse of the term kafir
- Stories within a story
- Stating the obvious
- Colin (and he’s the main character!)
- Colin’s obsession with Katherines
- Colin’s obsession with not being good enough
Looking at that list, I disliked practically everything in that book. There were only a few things that I did appreciate. That Colin’s best friend, Hassan, is Muslim, so diversity is definite score. But even that didn’t win me over because Hassan is such a hypocrite. Sure, everyone makes mistakes. The problem with Hassan is that he professes that he is Muslim, acknowledges all his sins but couldn’t care less to atone for them or to lead a life befitting his faith. Plus he constantly refers to Colin as kafir, and jokingly keeps telling Colin that he should convert instead of trying to find his worth in yet another Katherine.
- the plot is so predictably,
- the inclusion of all that math is unbearable because in the end it really doesn’t tell the reader anything of worth,
- the excessive anagrams are completely annoying,
- the footnotes make for cumbersome reading, and
- not a single part of me cares for any of the characters or the story as a whole.
As much as The Fault in Our Stars has been on my radar, I think I’ll wait a few more months before picking it up, so I can have a go at it without a clouded mind.
The style of writing in An Abundance of Katherines did not amuse me in the least, yet for some reason others have referred to it as a humorous read. I didn’t even come close to smirking a single time. I was bored by the time I reached the fourth chapter. Had I read a printed copy of it, instead of on my Kindle, I might’ve torn the book to shreds in frustration. It was 3 a.m. after all when I finished reading and realized I didn’t gain anything out of reading this book. Even the entertainment value wasn’t there for me at all.
I can’t help myself but leave everyone with this quote:
“I figured something out,” he said aloud. “The future is unpredictable.”
You don’t say?