Friday, November 14, 2008

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: mini-review and quotes

Because I loved the book so much I want to own it (like I need more books -- but this one's worth a few rereads) I've decided to share a handful of quotes from An Abundance of Katherines. It's a library check-out, so I don't feel obligated to review this one but it's such a fantastic book that I hate to just skip it entirely. So, before I return the book to the library, a brief descriptive blurb with a few quotes.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is the story of Colin, a child prodigy who desperately wants to turn his prodigious young self into a grown-up genius. Dumped 19 times, each time by yet another girl by the name of Katherine, Colin is fed up and depressed. To cheer him up, Colin's goofy friend Hassan suggests a road trip. During quiet moments, Colin decides to work on a formula that will predict how long a relationship will last by graphing all of his Katherine break-ups. But, in the process he discovers a few surprising realities about the world and both Colin and Hassan learn some life-changing lessons.

I don't feel like I'm describing it well enough, actually. An Abundance of Katherines is hilarious. Okay, so on to the quotes.

Crying adds something: crying is you, plus tears. But the feeling Colin had was some horrible opposite of crying. It was you, minus something. He kept thinking about one word--forever--and felt the burning ache just beneath his rib cage.

It hurt like the worst a**-kicking he'd ever gotten. And he'd gotten plenty.

The moment Colin sat down, Hollis asked Hassan, "Would you like to say grace?"

"Sure thing." Hassan cleared his throat. "Bismallah." Then he picked up his fork.

"That's it?" Hollis wondered.

"That's it. We are terse people. Terse, and also hungry."

Colin had only been in a nursing home once. He and his dad drove to Peoria, Illinois, one weekend when Colin was eleven to visit Colin's great-great-aunt Esther, who was in a coma at the time and therefore not very good company.

Hassan laughed silently, and he seemed so amused by the situation that Colin felt okay laughing, too. "This is some fugging snow globe of a day," Hassan said. And then he raced forward about ten paces, cupped his hands over his mouth, and screamed, "I AM BREAKING UP WITH YOU!" Still, though, a goofy grin was on his face.

I loved this book. The characters are unusually three-dimensional, flawed, sensitive, funny, human -- just wonderful. I can't recommend it enough. Again, not for the pre-teens, but the teenagers and grown-ups who enjoy Young Adult books will love it.


  1. I want to read this one - I think it's mainly because I'm a Kathy and there was an abundance of us in the 50s and 60s.

  2. Ms. Onion,

    I know. There were at least two Kathys or Cathys in every room. But, read it because it's a great book. It really is loads of fun. :)

  3. this was a great book. :)

  4. Mari,

    I know! Now, I want to harrass John Green. Write faster! Write faster, man, we need more!

  5. Terse and hungry. LOL

    Love those quotes. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ah... so fun to see some quotes! Makes me want to read it again too. AND buy it, like you said.

  7. Nancy
    Do you think I would like it at all?

  8. Andi,

    That's my favorite quote from the whole book. I set the book down to laugh and then reread that little scene 3 times. What a hoot! :)


    Isn't it the greatest? The characters are so lovable and goofy and vulnerable.


    If you don't mind some crudity, a little bit of language and sex. Does that bother you? I don't like those things, but the book is so funny and the characters so totally endearing that I just loved it. Sooo, yes. I'd say you'd probably like it, in spite of all that. It's a fun read.

  9. This book sounds really good to me! I saw someone else review it and make me want it. I loved the quotes :-)

  10. It does sound good! Thank you for the recommendation!

  11. Kim,

    I read two great reviews of this book and I'm so glad I wandered over to the "G" section, just in case . . . it's loads of fun. I hope you do read it!!


    It's terrific! John Green has a great sense of humor. I can't really imagine anyone disliking this book, unless crudity gets to them. The characters are terrific enough to negate what little I'd normally dislike, in my mind. I just loved it. :)

  12. Anonymous2:32 AM

    Awesome! :)

  13. Great review - I'm hooked. I've read several positive reviews, but yours is the most enthusiastic. I love the title!

  14. You've got me hooked. I'm always on the look out for a book with humor.

  15. I've been seeing this author *everywhere* lately. And Nymeth spoke really highly of this one as well. Sheesh--why am I always the last to hear about these authors?? Thanks for sharing the quotes...I'll have to check this one out. And good for you for using the library. Can't bring myself to do it--even if I borrow a book I really like I'll search out a copy for my own.

  16. Veens,

    It's a good one!


    I'm pretty enthusiastic about this one, yep. LOL bounce, bounce.


    Me, too. I'd rather laugh than cry, any day.


    I think I read two reviews before I wandered over to the "G" section in the library, but both were very positive. Green does seem to be showing up all over the place, doesn't he?

    I think I was dumping off donations at the library -- that's usually what gets me in trouble. Have to wander around if you're there, of course. LOL

  17. You picked some great passages to share! I miss the characters already. This is a book I'll definitely be reading again, probably before long.

  18. I don't normally like crudity either but I think I will at least look at on my next library trip. I am scared to go inside because I owe library fines. :)

    In other news I am about to start The Life and Death of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabbs. It is supposed to be a Christian fiction book but there is a caution on lots of bad language so I hope I can see the message through it. :)

  19. John Green is absolutely my literary crush.

  20. Nymeth,

    Thanks! I particularly love that brief prayer. Hassan is a hoot. Aren't they just the most lovable characters? I would love to know them in real life -- you know, if they existed -- which is kind of unusual with fictional characters. I think that says a lot about what a terrific book it is. Definitely one to read repeatedly!


    I think this is one of those rare cases in which the story and the characters are so wonderful that the crudity is easy to overlook. And, honestly -- I'm such a prude that if I say that, you're probably okay reading it. LOL

    Oh, that's interesting; you don't often get language warnings on Christian books. I'll look forward to seeing what you have to say about Gabriel Philllips.


    Me, too. I almost used "New Author Crush" as my header, but then I decided the title of the post should be a little more specific to what I was writing.

  21. Hi Nancy-

    I am so glad you loved this one as much as I do! I just ordered two more by him! Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns.


  22. This sounds really good! I added it to my TBR.

    BTW, I tagged you for an award, here:

  23. Sharon,

    Wahoo! I can't wait to hear what you think of the other two books! Since he's my new author crush, I'm just assuming I'll have to get my hands on Green's other two books. :)

    Teddy Rose,

    It's excellent -- definitely a book that I'll reread. Hope you love it, too.

    I'll go check out the tagging, thanks!

  24. I've heard a few things about this book. Most people seem to enjoy it! There are TONS of video reviews for it on YouTube.

  25. Ladytink,

    I thought it was loads of fun. Video reviews? As in people who've read about it talk about it or promotional videos? I've never heard of a video review. Perhaps I'm a little behind the times. ;)

  26. Wow. I've never heard of this one and after such a glowing review I will have to read it. I could use the distraction. :)

  27. Amy,

    It's an upper. You should definitely go for it. :)

  28. Why, oh why, oh why have I not read this yet?!! Must rectify situation!

  29. Debi,

    I don't know. Why haven't you read it? Maybe because a few thousand other books are calling your name? I know I have that problem. :) Definitely read it!!!

  30. Great quotes. Makes me want to read it even more. I'm going to see if my library has it---I'm sure they do.


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