Friday, February 02, 2007

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Just yesterday, as I was waiting in the doctor's office, I finished reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Some of you may know that he won the Printz Award for excellence in young adult fiction for Looking for Alaska. Because of this and since John Green is one my MySpace author friends, I wanted to read his new one. So a few months ago I started it and I was having trouble finishing it so I gave up. Recently the title was added to the RI Teen Book Award list of titles to be considered so I got the book again and this time I finished it!

John Green's prolific use of footnotes was distracting for me but since I had just completed Drawing a Blank by Daniel Ehrenhaft, which also uses footnotes liberally, the reading went mor quickly. It may be a generational thing...kids are used to reading in a non-linear fashion, with the Japanese graphic novels, manga, which read back to front, for example.

The characters in Katherines were interesting. Two friends, Colin and Hassan, set out on a road trip from Chicago and get as far as Gutshot, Tennesee. They get offered summer jobs and decide to stay and work. Colin is a guy who has exclusively dated girls named Katherine. He inevitably gets dumped and his loyal friend Hassan is there to listen to his stories.

But as the summer progresses, the two friends start to re-examine their lives and their friendship.