Wednesday, November 10, 2010
"An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green
John Green has honestly and truthfully written a character I can believe exists in real life, particularly because I see shades of myself within Colin. Ok, so I wasn't a prodigy in anything except reading, but I was considered a "smart kid". As many "smart kids" know, once High School is over, the rest looks pretty competitive and downhill. Colin is so ahead of the curve with his contemporaries that he sees what they won't see for a little while longer...High School, if your not careful, is where you peak. The trick to not peaking is simple in concept, but hard in execution: do something that makes your name stand out. It is this journey that Colin embarks on, mostly because it keeps his mind off of Katherine (whom we learn more about as the book goes on), that he tries to actually matter to the world. His heartache, his longing, and eventually his rejuvenation at the prospect of a new love is all extremely human and extremely identifiable. This book may be written as "Young Adult Fiction", but age the characters a bit and change the setting, and you've still got a story that's at times poignant and at times funny.
I might not have heard of John Green before discovering and reading this book, but I can see why all of his books have consistently high Amazon and Barnes and Noble customer ratings. Green's characters are real people, with real experiences and journeys, thoughts, and hopes. They just live in a world parallel to ours where things are slightly different. For what it's worth, I enjoy that slightly different world quite a bit; where problems are solved with road trips, bravery is found during a hog hunt, and ultimately all of the answers reveal themselves to you through a piece of paper, a phone call, and a moderately adventurous trip down South.