What I’m Reading: An Abundance of Katherines

Hello, World.

I’m slowly working my way through my summer reading list. What’s funny is that when I got home for summer, I read a 400 page book in two days, and then I read This Is Where I Leave You. Both the novels I read were good, and I wanted to continue reading, but I got a little busy and wasn’t making the time to keep reading. I’m actually working through an LSAT study book, and reading articles about various law schools I’m interested in each morning, which cuts down my daily reading time. It makes for interesting reading as far as “this is my future here” reading, but I’m excited to announce that I finished reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. For the record, I absolutely love John Green. He’s one of my all time favorite authors. I read The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska during spring break of 2013, and fell in love. His characters are so memorable, always. Anyway, when I was creating my Summer 2014 reading list, I knew I had to read at least one John Green book. Given that I had read Paper Towns as well, I figured An Abundance of Katherines was the next logical choice.
After seeing the movie adaption of The Fault in Our Stars (which I loved and shed too many tears during), I decided to read An Abundance of Katherines next. Compared to other John Green novels, this novel took me a little longer than just one or two days. I’m not sure why, but the storyline was hard for me to relate to, but then all of the sudden, around page 100, I got hooked and finished the rest of the novel in one sitting. I really enjoyed the novel. The jumping off point for the novel is simple: a child prodigy that’s been dumped by 19 girls, all named Katherine. Katherine XIV, the latest Katherine, leaves Colin Singleton (said child prodigy) heartbroken and distraught when she breaks things off just before the novel begins. Following the nineteenth dumping, Colin has little motivation to do much of anything other than wallow in self pity (like most heartbroken people). His best friend, Hassan, however, decides the two of them should go on a road trip to an unknown destination to help Colin get over Katherine XIV. While on his road trip, Colin hopes to complete the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, believing that he can use the theorem to avoid future heartbreak, as it will be able to predict the outcome of future relationships. The story does take a few humorous turns, such as two Chicago natives trying their hands at Southern-style hog hunting. That was a laugh-out-loud moment. Colin’s demeaner was similar to a way more romantic as well as self-questioing, but still socially awkward version of Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory.” As a fan of the show, I, of course, found this humorous and interesting and cute.

When someone dates nineteen people who all have the same name, spelled the same way, you can’t help but think they either are more interested in dating the name, and therefore don’t actually care about the person who bears it, or they never quite recovered from the first heartbreak with the name. In this novel, I held the second view for a while, but as the story progressed, I realized each Katherine was distinct, thought certain details do imply that the name itself holds weight. Alas, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I found it quirky, funny, and raw at all the right times. There is something about John Green’s delivery that makes you feel you’ve participated in something greater than just the everyday mumbo jumbo some novels cover. The novel may focus on a seemingly outrageous storyline, but I felt like there were aspects to all characters that you could relate to on some level. If you like John Green, I suggest reading this! It’s available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound if you wish to support your local booksellers.

As always, here are some quotes I found particularly compelling:
“Ergo: girls should always make the first move, because (a) they are, on the whole, less likely to be rejected than guys, and (b) that way, girls will never get kissed unless they want to be kissed.”

“He liked the idea of coffee quite a lot-a warm drink that gave you energy and had been for centuries associated with sophisticates and intellectuals.”

“Colin often thought about this in relationship to the monotony of dumping: we have thirty-two teeth. After a while, having each tooth individually destroyed probably gets repetitive, even dull. But it never stops hurting.”

“…Eventually he stopped thinking about the Theorem and wondered only how something that isn’t there can hurt you.”

“You’re not boring. You’ve got to stop saying that, or people will start believing you.”

“It’s just that I learned a while ago that the best way to get people to like you is not to like them too much.”

Perhaps my favorite: “The thing about chameleoning your way through life is that it gets to where nothing is real.”

“I don’t think you can ever fill the empty space with the thing you lost…I don’t think your missing pieces ever fit inside you again once they go missing.”

Sorry for the overload on quotes, but I find John Green rather quotable, like Mean Girls, but for a more intellectual setting. Okay, maybe not, but you understand (hopefully?). What are you reading at the moment?

Callie leigh

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