I recently read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, one of the books that I received (on my Kindle) for my recent birthday. I’ve been reading through John Green’s books over the past year or so, since I got into Vlogbrothers and Nerdfighteria. So far I’ve read Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and The Fault in Our Stars. So I had this one and Looking For Alaska left and I decided to read this one first, entirely because my name is Katherine and so the title amused me.
The protagonist of the book is Colin, a former child prodigy who has just graduated from high school and been dumped by his girlfriend, who happens to be the 19th girl named Katherine that he’s dated and been dumped by. This prompts an identity crisis which leads to his best friend Hassan dragging him on a road trip. Colin attempts to move from prodigy to full on genius by finding a mathematical formula which will explain human relationships and why he keeps falling for girls called Katherine who end up dumping him.
I should say that I don’t read a lot of this type of YA; when I do read YA titles they are usually in the SF and fantasy genres. I wouldn’t have picked up this book if I wasn’t already familiar with John Green from his Vlogbrothers videos. So I maybe wasn’t expecting to love the book, but as it turns out I did really like it. It wasn’t entirely my sort of thing, but it was very good for what it was and I enjoyed it perhaps more than I was expecting to. Although I am a Katherine by name, I actually really identified with the character of Colin, especially in his post-high school search for meaning and his desire to do something exceptional, his need to be considered special.
Overall I wouldn’t rate it as highly as The Fault in Our Stars, which most people seem to consider to be John Green’s best book anyway, and which I certainly loved. But I think I’d rate it above Paper Towns or Will Grayson, Will Grayson, and I’ll have to see how it compares to Looking for Alaska when I eventually read that one too. But overall I thought it was a good book and I enjoyed reading it.
This is the first video from the new Mental Floss YouTube channel which will feature the Vlogbrothers, Hank Green and John Green. This one has John Green debunking fifty common misconceptions. Entertaining and educational is my favourite combination! I’m looking forward to more of these videos in the future.
Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff’. Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.
I have spent probably too much time today watching Vlogbrothers videos on YouTube (apologies for the poor quality screencap). I’d heard of them before and seen a few videos here and there as they popped up on Tumblr, but honestly I was not too familiar with them. Then today I followed another random link to one of their videos and got sucked in. They make funny and interesting videos and I have really enjoyed what I’ve seen so far. I’m also intrigued by the whole YouTube celebrity thing in general, as I haven’t really watched any other video blogs either, but I know there are some massively popular ones, and Hank and John Green in particular seem to have become incredibly popular and built up a pretty amazing fan base. Based on the videos, I can see why. I am looking forward to watching through more of their videos in the future, they will certainly be good for taking short breaks when I am studying (just as long as I stick to one video and don’t get sucked in to watching tons of them like I did today!).