Who is Katherine the XIX? Is she a former Queen of England, France or maybe Scotland? And why the 19th? What happened to the Katherine I to XVIII?
Colin Singleton is a prodigy who loves anagrams and has fallen in love with nineteen Katherines. Yes, nineteen different Katherines with different personalities and last names. Katherine with a capital K. And he had had his heart broken the same number of times.
In order to make sense of his fascination with Katherines and why their relationships never worked out, Colin developed a mathematical formula. A formula that could help him understand why the Katherines always dump him.
In order to get over his latest Katherine breakup, Colin and his best friend
Hassan, went on a trip with no specific place of destination. Their plan was just to drive around. That was the original plan until they spotted a sign leading to the tomb of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. This sign will lead Colin to a strange place and discover more things about himself.
This is a story of self-discovery and realization. Everyone has to go through this, even prodigies and geniuses. No one is exempted. Everyone has to have his heart broken or get dumped at least once in his lifetime.
I am sure, this could not happen in real life. To fall in love nineteen times with persons with the same name. It seems like a recipe for disaster, if not, a person who has a propensity for self-destruction or a masochist to say the least. If you have been dumped by a person once and had your heart broken, why would you choose to fall in love with the next one with the same name. Seems like hitting your head with a hammer with your own hand. Or adding insult to injury. Yes, I know, same names but different personalities. I think this is some kind of obsession with the name. There are billions of other people, why not stay away from Katherines, right? There must be something wrong with the person. Just saying.
I met one person who told me that he has nothing against me but it was just that my name reminds him of not so good memories. I didn't feel offended. I was glad the person was honest with me. In fact, I don't really love my name. It was given to me so I had no choice, but if it were up to me, I would have chosen something else for the reason that my name is too common. Each one is unique thus, should deserve a singular name. Anyway, back to Colin, isn't the same thing supposed to happen to Colin to? Probably, after the fifth Katherine, he would have feared the sound of that name alone. There must have been some kind of trauma attached to that name. It would seem like cursed or jinxed. Me, I would not want to hear that same name ever again. I'd cut off my ears, if need be.
It was fun reading. It is one of those unique and unlikely stories that just need to be written. It is literally fiction and that's the fun part. Nothing could go wrong because in fiction anything works. Anything could happen. It is a good story. I praise John Green's creativity for coming up with this one.
I give the book 3 stars. I think some things could have been better I just don't know what specifically.
Granting that this story has given us a look into a mind of a prodigy, I could say that the saying, you can't have everything, is really true. Even prodigies have weaknesses - emotional intelligence, I guess. I am not saying that all prodigies are emotionally handicapped but just that God has a way of equalizing everyone. Strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has his own worries. The only people who have no problems are the dead.
Prodigies can very quickly learn what other people have already figured out; geniuses discover that which no one has ever previously discovered. Prodigies learn; geniuses do.
- John Green, An Abundance of Katherines -