Friday, May 11, 2007

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I recommend this book for: high school

Colin, a child prodigy who's starting to feel that he's past his prime, graduates from high school and is dumped by Katherine on the same day. Even more devastating, this is the 19th time he's been dumped by a girl named Katherine. His best friend Hassan convinces Colin and both sets of their parents that what they need is a road trip, and they set off from Chicago to end up in Gutshot, TN. Colin and Hassan get jobs interviewing former employees of a tampon string factory (oh, the randomness!) for a local history project, and Colin begins working on a mathematical formula that predicts how a relationship will turn out. Oh, and he also meets an intriguing Lindsey . . .

I found this book to be hilarious, in a nerd humor kind of way - there are lots of jokes in the footnotes, Colin and Hassan are both pretty sarcastic, and there's a lot of humor in Colin's lack of social skills. Colin also has a gift for anagrams, and there are many clever ones throughout the text.

A few things that keep me from recommending this for middle school are the complexity, the language (although the f-word appears relatively rarely, Colin and Hassan are constantly using 'fuggin' as a substitute - even though it does have literary merit . . .), and one brief sex scene which is more comical than explicit. I don't think it's anything a high school student couldn't handle - I'm pretty conservative and I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

But don't take my word for it . . .

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