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.
John Green has recently taken the world by storm with his beautiful books, aided by the making of The Fault In Our Stars into this years blockbuster film. I read TFIOS a while ago and instantly fell in love with Green’s writing. there’s such earnest and honesty to the characters and the story. Needless to say, the story
broke my heart ripped my heart clear out my chest. Earlier this year, I read Looking For Alaska, and found myself in a similar situation of torment and heartbreak. An Abundance of Katherines was my third John Green instalment.
Caught up in a limbo land where he is no longer a child prodigy and not yet a genius, Colin Singleton hits his all time low after being dumped for the 19th time by a girl named Katherine. Determined to shake Colin out of his K-19 funk, best friend Hassan convinces him that they should go on a road trip.
And so Colin finds himself miles from home, somewhat out of his comfort zone, and Katherine-less. During new adventures of love, friendship and anagrams, Colin finally has his Eureka moment – and so births the idea of The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, through which Colin is determined he can create a mathematical equation to predict the future of any relationship, and finally take him to his much-coveted Genius status.
I’ve seen a lot of people complaining that they find Colin too whiny, but I think Green did an excellent job of creating his character. That’s kind of the whole point of him – he’s an over-intelligent, anagram-loving ex-child prodigy with absolutely zero social skills. None. He’s going to be kind of annoying. But he’s endearing too. This also really made the friendship between him and Hassan special.
Hassan is a sort of loveable-rogue as far as geeks go, also smart – but not Colin-smart, – chubby, sweet and funny. A sort of wannabe rebel, though his religion poses a lot of restrictions. He’s the only friend Colin has – and ever really has had – and he looks out for his friend. He makes an effort to help Colin socialise, even if even he finds him annoying at times.
I really did find Colin endearing, and his obsession for perfecting the theorem was it’s own kind of heart-wrenching. After all, at one point or another, haven’t we all wanted to find some sort of rhyme or reason to relationships? When you’re sat there, post break-up, crying into your tub of Ben & Jerry’s, [insert chick flick/heartbreak film/song] on repeat, yesterdays mascara smudged around your face, asking why? Why does this always happen to me? Why can’t I find the one? That’s exactly what Colin is going through. Except he doesn’t deal with things like the rest of us, because he doesn’t see things like the rest of us, or feel things like the rest of us. For him, there simply must be a logical, mathematical explanation behind it, and his way of dealing with it is to pour all his concentration into perfecting this theorem. And that, to me, is pretty heart-wrenching.
It was an absolutely lovely book, very original and touching in it’s own way, and was actually quite a breath of fresh air.
Buy: An Abundance of Katherines on Amazon