This book was definitely not quite what I was predicting, but John Green has surprised me again with another great read. He’s always been a clever dialogue-writer, but this time around he set-out to write a comic novel, and boy, did he. The laughs were just what I needed. You know a book’s hilarious when your husband keeps giving you weird looks as you giggle and chuckle loudly several times to yourself in a single sitting of reading.
It’s the morning after high school graduation, and what’s-in-a-name Colin Singleton is still reeling from his latest breakup. Like every other girl Colin’s dated, her name was Katherine. There’s been so many Katherines, in fact, that they’re numbered. His latest, which has become K-19, is particularly hard. Everything he sees reminds Colin of her and his own shortcomings. See, no one knows more than Colin that he’s a child prodigy who’s yet to show any promise as a genius – unless you can count his talent for anagramming, languages, and the ability to recite useless facts. With nothing other to do than wallow in is own grief, Colin’s best and only friend Hassan convinces him to go on a road trip. They set off with the hopes to a) Write and prove the Katherine dumping theorem, b) Have a Eureka moment, and c) Find his missing piece.
It wasn’t so much the premise of this book that I found interesting as much as the promise of another Green read. As always, there were quirky, one-of-a-kind characters, smart dialogue, some major soul-searching, and random trivia sprinkled throughout. Hassan, who is overweight and proud of it and more than content to be an underachiever is one of Green’s funniest characters. My inner-nerd really related to Colin, who doesn’t know the meaning of too much information and overanalyzing or how to go out and have fun on weekends. I was cheering for him to get the girl, take some risks, and finally figure out his hang-up on Katherines. The laugh-out-loud factor was just the cherry on top. All you have to say is “fug”, tampon strings, man boobs, sitzpinkler, Judge Judy, dingleberries, and swear jar and I’ll crack up. An Abundance of Katherines is Green’s happiest book yet.
I also heartily recommend the audiobook. I did a combination of both reading and listening, but the few chapters I did listen to were very well done – the hick accents and expressive delivery are part of what made the entire book so hilarious.