Friday, January 11, 2013

The Ex Factor

When it comes to girlfriends, self-proclaimed child prodigy Colin Singleton definitely has a type. And that type has nothing to do with hair color, height/weight ratio, interest (or lack thereof) in sports, or the usual things that might attract people to each other. No. Colin is attracted to girls named Katherine (not Katie, not Kathy, not Kat, not Catherine-spelled-with-a-C). He's dated 19 of them to date, and each one has dumped him. Reeling from the crushing heartbreak of his most recent dumping, Colin decides he needs to get away from it all: From his hometown, from his over-protective and success-obsessed parents, AND from Katherines. Joined by his quirky friend Hassan, Colin embarks on a cross-country road trip, on which he hopes to complete a mathematical formula that will predict the outcome of any relationship. The guys end up in Gut Shot, Tennessee, the apparent burial place of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a historical figure who has much significance to Colin. Here, in this unlikely rural town, Colin and Hassan find jobs, friends, and life lessons. There might even be an opportunity for Colin to break his lifelong Katherine streak.

Although not quite as good as John Green's other books (in my opinion), An Abundance of Katherines is not without its charms. There's well-developed and likable characters, there's a fun plot, and there's the author's trademark humor. A warning for those clueless about math: There's quite a bit of math in here, so it's easy for to get sidetracked (and then lost) due to the complex formulas. On the other hand, you math nerds will love this! Overall, this book was entertaining and I'd recommend it. --AJB 

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