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An Abundance of Katherines    by John Green order for
Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

Colin Singleton is a boy genius. The star of KranialKidz quiz show, he anagrams words at lightning speed, and finds most facts fascinating. Colin is also a sucker for girls named Katherine. In fact, he's dated and been dumped by nineteen of them. Katherine V thought boys were gross; Katherine VIII dumped him via email. But K-19 (formerly Katherine I) broke his heart, right after an expensive sushi dinner celebrating their graduation. Author John Green's latest book, An Abundance of Katherines, begins as Colin is digesting the fact that yet another Katherine has dumped him.

Colin's friend Hassan has an instant solution - roadtrip. After convincing their parents, the boys set off in the car they've dubbed Satan's Hearse. Hassan serves as Colin's friend and translator into normal teenspeak. When Colin spouts off facts, Hassan tells him what's interesting and what's not. The duo soon finds themselves in the small town of Gutshot, Tennessee, named for the dead Austro-Hungardian duke Franz Ferdinand who was fatally wounded in the stomach, and is now buried in Tennessee. It's a fitting name as Colin feels as if he's had a piece of himself removed since K-19 broke up with him. Fortunately, Colin and Hassan hook up with Lindsey Wells, the teenaged tour guide of the gravesite. Although Lindsey has a boyfriend, also named Colin (so the pair calls him TOC for 'The Other Colin') Lindsey's mother takes them in and offers them a summer job. For $500 a week Hassan and Colin quickly agree to interview Gutshot's residents about their past.

As Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey spend time together in Gutshot their perspectives begin to change. Colin struggles to create a theorem that will accurately predict when a relationship will end, but in the end reaches some surprising conclusions. The three not only learn about themselves, but others as well. It's no wonder that John Green's first book, Looking for Alaska, received much recognition, being listed as one of the top ten books for young adults in 2006. An Abundance of Katherines is no different. Green's humorous footnotes, along with his ability to portray the roller coaster of adolescent emotions, makes his writing real and meaningful to his readers.

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