Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Abducted by An Abundance of Katherines

This weekend I left work on Saturday as a girl on a mission. The mission being that I was going to accomplish 2 things that I have been meaning to do for a long time.

1. To give myself a pedicure.
2. To read a novel by John Green.

The thing about the pedicure is that my feet had literally started to look like they belong to an elephant. So trust me when I say a pedicure was way past due.

And look at these beauties now!!!

Now about the John Green Novel.

My friend Tracy introduced me to the vlogbrothers a couple of months ago. But just in these past few weeks I’ve become obsessed.

John Green is one of the two vlogbrothers (the other being his brother Hank Green) and he is also an author. He has written I believe three main books and co-authored a fourth. For a while now I have been wanting to read one of these books but I couldn’t decide which one to read first and it just wasn’t high on my priority list.

Then last week Green posted a vlog in which he showed off some of his fans that had gathered at one of his appearances. One of the girls had actually tattooed a mathematical equation that was featured in Green’s book, An Abundance of Katherines, across the length of her forearm! Crazy right!

Seeing the devotion that some of his fans had to this book made me want to read it immediately. I finished on Tuesday and I am now ready to give you my review on...

When it comes to relationships there should be a mathematical equation to predict how long the relationship will last and how the relationship will end.

Following the aftermath of his nineteenth breakup with a girl named Katherine (by the way I should specify that this is not one girl named Katherine but he managed to date and get dumped by nineteen different girls all named Katherine). Colin Singleton, a child prodigy/genius, has had a “eureka” moment. He will develop such an equation.

With the help of Hassan, the greatest best friend character I’ve come across in a really long time, Colin heads out on a road trip and ends up in the absolutely charming town of Gutshot Tennessee. Colin is one of those main characters that before you have decided that you even like him, your heart has fallen in love with him. In contrast Hassan is this completely hysterical, strong, supportive, loyal, and unconditionally generous best friend that you love straight from the beginning. In the Q&A section of the book John Green states that he doesn’t feel he would ever write sequels to any of his books. But in this case I seriously think he should consider taking the route of a spin-off and give Hassan his own book. He’s earned it.

There is no question that the town of Gutshot is extremely delightful. While there Colin and Hassan are befriended by a young girl named Lindsey Lee Wells who partners up with Colin to help him finish his equation. The equation works in such a way that you only have to know a few basic facts about each person to be able to predict the future of their relationship.

I thought it would be funny to work the equation to predict my future relationship with Elijah Wood. However, I then remembered something. Math is really hard. Also, it has been like over five years since I was last in an actual math class and I was never very good at it to start with. The hard parts of the equation completely allude me but even the simple stuff like subtracting fractions from a whole number had me scratching my head.

There were many parts of the story that I connected with and was moved by. Colin’s declarations of just wanting to matter, and his feeling that he is missing a piece inside of himself, or when he says that his distractions keep “…the loneliness of crushlessness from being entirely crushing.”

However there was one part of the book that I found to be entirely unsettling.

Colin manages to ask the one question I have always felt to be unaskable. Not because the question itself can’t be asked but because the prospective answer is too frightening.

“Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more
or less if they could see inside you?…If people could see me
the way I see myself--if they could live in my memories--
would anyone, anyone, love me?”

The entire time I was reading the story I couldn’t help but feel that Colin was such a pessimist. His theory on relationships boiling down to it always ending. And yet the unsettlingness of the above statement helped remind me that I am often also a pessimist, because my honest answer…would be…no.

(before I continue with this line of thought, please know that I am not writing this to get a response. To put it bluntly, you can save all your “Oh, Courtney, when you find the right guy…blah blah blah”. I know you mean well but I am honestly including this part in my blog just to put it out there into the void. Also I tend to find those types of answers to be somewhat patronizing. No offense.)

In the book, Colin and Lindsey both have a secret habit of nibbling on the tip of their thumbs. This is a private habit that they never do in front of anyone. I have similar habits. Things I do in the privacy of my own home that I would never do in front of another person. Things I have never told anyone about, not even my oldest and dearest friends. NO ONE. And a part of me always assumed that if I was ever in a relationship I would just either a- stop doing them or b- become the type of person who didn’t need to do them anymore. It was never an option for me to find someone I could do them in front of because if anyone ever really saw inside me, saw me the way I see myself, they couldn’t love me.

And if I am totally honest with myself. I think I prefer it that way. Not the, no one loving me part. But let us just say that my secret habit is nibbling the tip of my thumb. I don’t want to do that in front of someone else. I want to drop all those private habits. I wouldn’t want him to see me as the type of person who does that.

Again, we are talking about little habits like nibbling your thumb, for anyone out there who’s thinking of anything dirty, get your mind out of the gutter.

In conclusion I would simply say that while I didn’t love the book, I did really really like it. The ending was probably less climatic then I would usually prefer but the characters were endearing and the story was simple and genuine. And I am excited to read more from John Green in the future.

40 posts; 25 weeks; 21 books- to go.


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Okay, I won't patronize you about finding the man of your dreams... but someday you will find the Hobbit of your dreams!

Looking forward to reading this book when it eventually makes it way up the TBR pile and into my waiting hands.

And I hear you on the elephant feet! Mine are so bad, but I just haven't had the time to get it done.

And I'm almost done with school- I passed both my written and clinical finals, so don't forget our movie date! Next Wednesday, right?

Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Winds of Change kit by NatashaNaSt Designs