Colin Singleton (17) has very specific criteria when it comes to the girls he goes out with. He only dates girls named Katherine. Just as it is spelled. No variants. Like the 18 Katherine's before her, Katherine XIX (19) broke Colin's heart, turning him into a sulking mess for weeks. He doesn't feel like a math prodigy anymore and worries that he is a washed-up genius, never to have that "Eureka" moment and make an important discovery.
To cheer him up, his best and only friend Hassan Harbish decides the two should take a road trip. They traveled from Chicago to Gutshot, Tennessee, where they met Lindsey Lee Wells. Lindsey gives town tours, is training to be a paramedic, and is the first girl not named Katherine, who Colin falls for. Except Lindsey already has a boyfriend. With the help of Lindsey's mother, the boys found jobs and settled down in Gutshot. One question remains: Can Colin find that "eureka" moment and figure out his unique genius?
BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
I love the uniqueness of the plot. Green took an idea that seemed odd and shallow and turned it into something deep. I’ve read several love stories where people fell in love with another person’s features (eyes, face, laugh, et al), but this is the first story where someone fell in love with a name. It was really cool to explore this idea. In addition, I like the humor. The story is light-hearted despite Colin's heartbreak, and that feeling carried through the whole book makes it a much easier read. The characters, even the ones "off stage," are well done. Hassan Harbish is a sort of quirky friend with a good sense of humor. I also liked Lindsey's presence. We never really met any of the Katherines but with the way the story is set up, it is easy to see the contrast between the Katherines and Lindsey.
Last, I loved the recurring theme of how science cannot predict human relationships. It is a concept debated today, and one seen in the popularity of dating apps and websites by people trying to find a match. Colin’s use of math to predict the outcomes of his relationships proved successful at times and wrong at other times, but the point was that he could not be in a satisfying relationship without deviating from the model, and I thought that was beautiful.
The ideal audience for An Abundance of Katherines is readers 12 and older [8th grade and teens], but it is a great choice for anyone looking for a light-hearted read. This book would also make the perfect gift for contemporary or romance novel lovers.
Looking for a light-hearted breakup story? One with engaging characters, a unique plot, and humor, too? You have found the right book in An Abundance of Katherines.
Characters use profanity and there are sexual situations. The fifth grade reading level is NOT an indicator of the audience. This is a book for readers in high school.
This is a humorous realistic fiction novel for teens.
Enjoy this as a light read for fun. Our teen reviewer does raise an interesting question about dating apps and websites: what would Colin say to those users?
14 and Up
13 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age: 16
Borrow. This is the perfect choice for a light summer read, but it isn't a book you'll return to again.