Books | An Abundance of Katherines by John Green / Charley Lucy

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Books | An Abundance of Katherines by John Green



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After reading, and falling in love with Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and (most famously) The Fault in our Stars. I was eventually fated to read John Green's last solo novel, An Abundance of Katherines.

The pretence of the story is as follows (skip to the next paragraph if you would like a spoiler-free first chapter): Here we meet Colin, a typical teenage prodigy (not genius) who can anagram almost anything and has a slight obsession with dating girls called Katherine, that's K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E not Catherines or Kathys or anything of the like. The book sees him being dumped - for the nineteenth time - by a girl called Katherine and so ensues a summer road trip with his best friend not-a-terrorist Hassan where they end up in a tiny Tennessee town called Gunshot where everybody knows everybody, rooming with Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother Hollis who run the general store.

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This was probably my least likeable of all his books (the first being Looking for Alaska) as it seems a little typical and maybe even corny - afterall how many roadtrip books must there be out there, right? Don't get me wrong, the last few pages are perfect. But the story takes it's time to get going and to get to a place in which we aren't essentially watching Colin being brilliant and depressed 1) about Katherines and 2) about how he'll never make his mark on the world and leave something behind. Part of me wanted to shake Colin whilst the other half (knowing a Colin) realised that this in fact would do no good.

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As for Lindsey's character, I can relate to the world of cliques and popularity. This time the female character's not so much of an enigma but an ordinary girl which is madly refreshing. Whilst the character of Hassan facilitated the broadening of my vocabulary by his wit, humour and Arabic 101. But most of all, I found I related to the sub-characters, those who were only in it for a matter of pages as I felt I could see representations of them in the people I knew.

Would I recommend this book? Well, yes. Whilst not my favourite John Green read - it's a good read, and even if you only learn the definition of kafir then at least that's something. It's witty and intelligent and leaves you thinking.


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