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I recently became a stay-at-home mom.  I have an amazing husband and a gorgeous baby girl.  The transition from working mom to SAHM has had it's ups and downs.  Everyday is an adventure as I learn what it means to be a good mom and watch my little girl grow up.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

If someone were to enter a debate saying that John Green is a bad writer they would lose.  Although An Abundance of Katherines may not be my favorite of his work, it is undoubtedly a well written story.  Quite frankly I think the main reason I'm not completely in love with this book is because I'm not a math person and I have never been dumped by someone I loved.

Colin, the main character, is a fairly likable nerd. He is a child prodigy with one friend, and a dream to leave his mark on the world that will elevate him from the title "prodigy" to that of "Genius".  Although it is completely unbelievable, the scholarly Colin has managed to not only date girls named Katherine, but he's managed to date nineteen of them (technically eighteen).

Green does a wonderful job with the characterization of Colin, and is able to leave his physical appearance mostly to the imagination.  Other than a brief mention of his "Jew fro" and "green eyes" one would assume that the child prodigy is not completely unfortunate looking.  I mean how else could a socially awkward kid manage to date nineteen girls?  At first when Colin is devastated that Katherine XIX has just dumped him, I felt bad, but eventually he just got annoying.  He literally obsesses over her.  He feels like he lost his identity now that she doesn't want to be with him.  I suppose this is relatable to anyone who may have just gone through a breakup, but for everyone else, it's like listening to a little kid whine.

His insecurities, obsessions, and mathematical rants would have been more difficult for me to stomach if not for his best friend, Hassan.   Hassan, his portly, witty, Arabic sidekick, brings a sense of adventure to the story for sure.  In my mind he is the epitome of a great friend.  He is spontaneous, fun, caring, and loyal.  There were several parts in the book that Hassan made me laugh out loud (an example of Green's brilliance).  Colin's character definitely became more appealing because of his relationship with Hassan.

Green incorporates footnotes into the story which makes it a bit more interesting.  Either John Green is a fountain of useless knowledge or he did a lot of research for those footnotes.  I did skip a handful of them because, and this is to quote Hassan, I found them to be "not interesting".  Speaking of skipping, I actually skipped several parts in the book where Colin explains his latest ideas on creating a mathematical theorem that can predict the future of all relationships.  To me that is definitely not interesting, especially when Colin figures out at the end *spoiler alert* that you can't predict the future.  Gasp!  He really is one of those cliche smart people who lacks common sense and has little social awareness.  It makes me wonder if John Green is this way, or if he is just a genius at creating characters.  I'm betting on the latter...

Okay, so what do I rate this book?  I'm going to give it 3.5 stars.  I preferred Looking For Alaska, and there is no doubt that I envy John Green's ability to tell a story and create some amazing characters, but this book didn't fit my personality.  I know there are millions of people that would find this book a great fit, I just wasn't one of them.