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Dumper Or Dumpee: Review of John Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines”

By Crossstitchyourheart @TMNienaber

Dumper or Dumpee: Review of John Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines”One of the best things about being a high school teacher is that it gives a perfectly legitimate reason to read Young Adult novels.  Not that I wouldn’t read them anyway, but I like knowing I’ll be able to recommend them to a group of people they will be able to touch in a way YA-lit can only touch those who are still teens.  John Green is considered one of the best and brightest Young Adult novelists of this generation and I’ve enjoyed the books of his that I’ve read as well as his video-blog with his brother Hank.  With all this being said, I was disappointed with An Abundance of Katherines.  I wanted to like it and I still think John Green is an excellent writer, this book just wasn’t for me.

There are two kinds of people in the world, dumpers and dumpees. Collin has been dumped by nineteen girls named Katherine and he’s decided to find a way to keep it from happening ever again.  After his break-up with the final Katherine Collin and his best friend go on a road trip to get away from it all while Collin decides to create the one thing he thinks will help him matter to the world: a formula that predicts the outcome of a relationship.

I’m glad this wasn’t my first experience with John Green’s writing because I came away from this book feeling disappointed.  While Collin stands out as a unique character it’s hard to empathize

Dumper or Dumpee: Review of John Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines”
with him and his struggles.  I tried to like him but couldn’t.  The introduction of Lindsey Lee Wells helped to keep my interest, as she is a character I could feel for and take a real interest in, but overall the book fell flat for me.

Green’s writing is still excellent and the town of Gutshot comes across as real and vibrant.  The side characters Collin meets there seem to have more personality than he does, and the stories they tell are realistically portrayed.  The idea of mixing mathematical equations within the book is another interesting idea that is integrated very well with the rest of the story.  I enjoyed watching the formula take shape and the premise of creating a “relationship theorem” was refreshingly original.  Green also adds another layer to the book with his footnotes, and you should take the time to read them along with the regular text because without them you’ll miss out on some elements of the story.

The book is written excellently and I wanted to love it as much as I’ve enjoyed Green’s other books, but something about Collin kept me from being able to connect.  That being said, with its original take on dealing with relationships and break-ups it’s a book I’ll still recommend to my students and one every YA fan should give a chance.


Dumper or Dumpee: Review of John Green’s “An Abundance of Katherines”

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