An Abundance of Katherines By: John Green (Book Review)


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.  

An Abundance of Katherines was absolutely wonderful! I was a little hesitant upon reading this novel because a lot of people say it is their least favorite John Green book. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I adored it!  I didn’t love it as much as I loved Looking for Alaska, but I think I enjoyed it more than The Fault in Our Stars.

An Abundance of Katherines is quirky, but not in a over-done, annoying way.  It was not quirky for the sake of being quirky, but rather, in a unique and fascinating sort of way.  For example, there are footnotes on almost every page of the novel, and random facts and details that one would expect coming from Colin Singleton, a child prodigy.  Furthermore, each of the characters have their own unique features.  For example, Collin is obsessed with anagramming (which I didn’t even know was a thing until this novel), and his best friend, Hassan is a judge-judy loving Muslim.  I am a sucker unique small details, and this book is full of them!

John Green deserves an award (although the dude probably has tons of awards taped to his refrigerator) for making Colin Singleton a likeable character.  Although Colin is unique, he definitely is a self-centered, egocentric twit sometimes.  There were a few moments where I wanted to throw the book across the room because of how but-face-esque Colin was acting, but ultimately, I grew to love his character.  By the end of the novel, Colin has learned from his defects, and finally recognizes that his life doesn’t have to revolve moping about getting dumped by girlfriends named Katherine.

Although I grew to like Colin, Hassan by far was my favorite character in the novel.  Any scenes with Hassan never failed to make me laugh.   He is the hilarious yet supporting best friend everyone wants.  His jokes made me crack up in uncontrollable spurts of laughter.  Once, when reading on the beach I started laughing so hard that a person near me stared at me like I was some kind of crazy psychopath.   But what can I say, Hassan simply makes everything better.

The only aspect of this novel that was a bit off-setting for me was the ending.  It seemed rather abrupt and a bit forced for me, but all in all this was not a large enough defect to alter my love for the book.

John Green has yet to disappoint me, an Abundance of Katherines is LOVELY.  It is quirky, fun, and thought provoking!  If you have yet to pick up this novel, you REALLY SHOULD go out to Barnes and Noble right now to pick one up!



The Longest Ride by: Nicholas Sparks (Review)

The longest Ride

Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

While, The Longest Ride was not my favorite book, I still would recommend it.  As the summary above mentions, the novel follows Sophia, Luke, and Ira, three very different people whose lives interweave.

Sophia and Luke’s story is what you expect from a Nicholas Sparks book.  It is uber romantic and adorable, which is perfect for fellow helpless romantics.  I love to read about heart warming relationships, so Sophia and Luke’s story was my cup of tea.  Also, Sparks played off of the whole cliché “opposites attract” tastefully by making Sophia and Luke’s relationship deeper than simply a physical attraction.  Through their witty banter, Sparks portrays them as an embodiment of a young couple, and he does so realistically.  Their struggle to discover their place in the world whilst trying to fit each other into their lives is a dilemma that most people can find relatable.

A second thing that I really enjoyed in this novel, was Ira’s story.  As Ira struggles with surviving his lethal car crash, he often refers to flashbacks and time spent with his lover, Ruth.  As much as I loved Sophia and Luke’s relationship, I found Ira and Ruth’s relationship more fascinating.  I loved learning of all their little quirks like collecting art.  Furthermore, it was interesting to observe  the commitment they had for one another despite the obstacles that came in their way.

However, while I did enjoy Ira’s story, the shifting between Ira’s story and Sophia and Luke’s story was my biggest issue with this book.  There were times when I read an enthralling excerpt from Sophia and Luke’s story, but then had to wait 20 pages to get back to it because it went into Ira’s narration.  Despite my love of Ira and Ruth’s relationship, I didn’t love where the chapters with Ira’s narration were placed, it often seemed quite random and jumpy.  I understand the point was probably to include Ira’s perspective after an exciting moment with Sophia and Luke (so readers want to continue reading), but I didn’t find this effective.  Sure, perhaps it made Sophia and Luke’s story more enjoyable, but I think it weakened Ira’s story, when his story was just as significant.

Furthermore, I wish there were more connections explaining why Ira’s story related to Sophia and Luke’s story.  By the end of the novel, it is obvious how the characters’ lives are intertwined, yet throughout most of the novel, I had no idea why Ira’s story was even included.  Sure I loved it, but I often felt like Ira’s story was a separate book, or that it should have been.  Of course there were interesting connections such as how Sophia and Ruth were both very interested in art, and other comparable details, yet, it is quite difficult for a reader to understand why these stories are connected and what the purpose is.

As a whole, I did enjoy The Longest Ride, but it will never be placed on my favorites shelf.  I would recommend it to people who love romance books and love Nicholas Sparks.

3 stars

Update: What happened to me?!!

Hey everyone, its Ashley.  It has been much too long since I have uploaded a review on my blog! School has been hectic these last few months with AP tests, SATs, ACTs, and doing a bunch of college visits.  Therefore, I haven’t had much time to read, and reading no books = having no reviews. But, summer is coming, and I have actually had time to read, gasp, I never thought this day would come again.  Today I just finished the Longest Ride, so look out for a review on it!! Also, in order to prevent this whole debacle (making SAT vocab words count, hell yes) from occurring again, I plan on doing more book TAGs, so that even if I do not necessarily have time to read, I will still be able to put content out for you guys!