TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
John Green is the author of "Looking for Alaska," which won the Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. This time around, Green is telling a bit of a different story. Colin Singleton, former child prodigy, has just graduated from high school in Chicago. Unfortunately, he's also just been dumped by his 19th Katherine. To clarify, over the course of his lifetime, Colin has only dated Katherines, and every single one of those girls broke up with him. Katherine XIX, as he calls her, has truly broken Colin's heart. The only remedy appears to be a road trip with no purpose and no destination, accompanied by his best (and only) friend, the outrageously funny, outrageously large Hassan.
The boys end up in Gutshot, Tennessee, after stopping to see the alleged grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. They land summer jobs collecting oral histories for Hollis Wells, who is the richest lady in town, owner of a local factory and pink mansion, and mom to the smart, spunky, and very cool Lindsey Lee Wells. During his time in Gutshot, Colin learns how to tell a story, develop a mathematical formula to predict the course of relationships (the "Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability"), get over Katherine XIX, and, perhaps most importantly, see himself as more than just a failed genius.
This is a great book for high school-age teens, particularly those who enjoy math and bizarre trivia (like why shower curtains aren't held down by the spray of the shower!). There's some crude language here, but mostly the boys use their own substitute curses, which are hilarious. In fact, this is one of the funniest books I've read in quite some time. There's no way anyone can keep a straight face while Colin and Hassan are lost in the woods being chased by a wild hog they call the "Satan Pig." Lots of laughs, and a nice view of friendship, make "An Abundance of Katherines" a great read.