AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES is a novel written by best-selling author of coming-of-age novels - JOHN GREEN. I have to say I am a John Green's virgin as I have not read anything written by him..Yet! So, in the true fashion of me being me, I have decided that it's time to throw myself into his masterpieces. I have bought the three most famous novels - An Abundance of Katherines, Looking For Alaska & The Fault In Our Stars.
I have chosen the first one to start off with as it was recommended to be by one of my Instagram friends @liznadiaparis1D_ . So I was expecting great things from this book. John Green and his works are world-famous and adored by millions of readers all over the world. I was sure it would be excellent.
But after reading it, I must say, it was only OK.
As I was saying, John Green has a reputation of excellent story-telling which keeps you turning pages like FLASH running but for me it wasn't like that. It's more like a driving vintage mini cooper when you are driving really slow, scared that something will break and you find yourself stranded on a road. It was a slow burner...
The story follows a child prodigy, genius Colin Singleton who has a problem. Somehow, he always falls in love with girls named Katherine. As long as your name is spelled K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E, you become Colin's crush - guaranteed. Love isn't easy for Colin though and these girls always break his heart. Most recently Katherine numero 19. So after some self-pity, all-night-long crying, him and his best friend Hassan decide to go on a road trip and somehow end up in the middle of nowhere, little town called Gutshots. And here is where Colin starts to think about his life and the reason why he always falls for girls named Katherine.
At the start I have found this book very entertaining and it got me to smile and giggle. Nothing better that a heartbroken specimens of a man who cries like a baby after break-up, can make me laugh out loud. But after Colin started to work on his Theorem and the graphs and mathematical quotations started to appear, it lost its original appeal. Now, I am not blaming the author for this as it's my own fault that I read this book at 2AM while working my night shift, but all the genius talking got me too tired and I couldn't continue on reading. But I know that the author tried to create something new and never done before, so I can appreciate his efforts. But they were lost on me. Also, I felt that the story was a little forced after that and it lost its original wittiness.
Having said that, I did enjoy the little notes which gave further explanation when required.
Looking at the characters... I am sorry, but Colin is one winey piece of man. Seriously, he is not a man, just a boy. He is more cheesy than the brie I bought in my local supermarket and fails to stand up for himself. And he is selfish. Really selfish. I am not sure if I am supposed to like this character or not... From what I read, I don't like him at all. Can't even feel sorry for him. His best friend Hassan is my favourite character in this novel as he is funny and lost. He follows the rules of God (sometimes bend them to his satisfaction) and he is a great best friend who you can rely on. Lindsay is a lovely girl, who is smart, funny and beautiful but seems to be stuck in her little town and lacks the determination to do something with her life. She reminds me my mum a lot :)
The story itself is little bit boring and lacks a lot of engaging parts, but the writing is funny and keeps you chuckling when you least expect it. But it doesn't blow my mind. It doesn't leave an ever-lasting impression and it doesn't make me want to read it again. It is one of those novels you buy, read it and leave it on the bookshelf for others to read. Actually, it did pick up a little bit in last three chapters, especially in the epilogue which brought many quotes which made me think. But isn't a good sign of a great book, if only the epilogue is worth the reading.
But I do love the cover. Bright read with a white lightbulb. It's modern. Eye-catching and definitely not able to be missed. And of course, it's related to the story which is a plus. So well done to the artwork department for designing a book cover which makes you want to read the book. Even if the story is lacking something.
So to summarise my first experience with John Green's writing: It was ok, but I wasn't overly impressed. Let's hope that the rest of the books won't be following similar fashion. Sorry Mr Green and sorry Mr Green's fans but I am not fond of this book at all.
Here are some of the quotes I did like :
“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
“You don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”
“I figured something out. The future is unpredictable.”
“There's some people in this world who you can just love and love and love no matter what.”
“That's who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of.”
“What matters to you defines your mattering.”
“He liked the mere act of reading, the magic of turning scratches on a page into words inside his head.”