Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.


Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Published: September 21st 2006
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

picadillypink I wanted to like this so badly–and I’m also sensing a pattern with Green’s works for me. I find them so pretentious and almost antagonistic in the way that they present the overly smart male protagonist and the whimsical, mysterious female that he undoubtedly falls in love with. Maybe because the narrative voice in TFioS is female, and I identify a little bit with the way Hazel presents herself and speaks that I didn’t find it as pretentious as the other books by Green.

My other problem with An Abundance of Katherines, is the pacing. It seems to drag and flip flop between the past and current events. It stretches out so slowly that it was almost a burden to finish. I’m trying really hard not to have any DNF books this year, and already six days in I was really tempted to just put it back in the bag for the library. I slogged through it, finding Colin boorish and just someone that I really didn’t want to read more about. The only slight ray in the dark was Hassan, but even that was drowned out by Green’s incessant reminders that he was Muslim, and throwing around Arabic/Islamic phrases. Please do not get me started on the footnotes, I hate them in text books, and I have absolutely no interest in seeing them in fiction (which is probably one of the reasons why I don’t read high fantasy either).

Overall: pink2 I have two more John Green books to read and I’m not certain I’m going to.

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Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green.


Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Published: September 22, 2009
Publisher: Speak.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life — dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge — he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues — and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

picadillypink In reading The Fault in Our Stars, I discovered John Green. I found him to be a bit pretentious (okay, a lot pretentious) but the way he crafted his world, and his way with words won me over. The Fault in Our Stars reads like a movie, and I’m glad I experienced both mediums. Curiosity got the better of me, and after a friend’s non stop barrage of tweets about Green’s other works I picked up Paper Towns from the library. I let it sit around for a few days before I picked it up and started to read.

Almost instantly I’m greeted by the same prose, the same slightly overbearing pontification of word-smithing, and yet I chug on. I try to connect with the plot, with the characters with this whirlwind of a hope of a chance of a female named Margo Roth Spiegleman and her ever present, yet cast aside straight man Q. Let me tell you, if I have to read the words Margo Roth Spiegleman again, it’ll be all too soon. What frustrates me so much with this novel is the time Q spends chasing this girl and she’s not even what he really wants. Q doesn’t even know what he wants (and here in might be the main purpose behind the story–but still).

What I take out of it, is it’s a love letter and a goodbye note left by Margo Roth Spiegleman to Q. I really like the reaction she has later on in the book. She’s wanting to be free from the societal bounds she’s put on herself–and I think Q and the Scooby Gang going after her completely undermines that. It’s a drawn out process and maddening in it’s plodding progression. Yes, it’s a coming of age story, yes it’s the last hurrah before graduating high school and stepping into the grand void of the unknown.

I wanted to love this book so hard. I wanted it to be something that after reading I went out and purchased and put on my shelf, like I did with TFiOS. I also tried really hard to keep from drawing comparisons of the two, but they just kept happening. Things would creep in, details, narrative nuances that I couldn’t help but notice. I prefer TFiOS, though I can’t deny that Paper Towns is well written and there’s an audience for it, it just didn’t happen to float my boat.

This particular quote has stuck with me though, and I can’t seem to shake it.

“– I mean at some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.” I liken this as a warning to Q, not to get so wrapped up in Margo, but at this point there’s really no turning back. Not for Q, or the reader.

Overall: pink3 Would I recommend this? Yes. Would I own this? No. I am going to read Green’s other works though.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green


Title: The Fault in Our Stars.
Author: John Green
Published: January 10th 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books.

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

The Summary:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

picadillypink
“Did that boy give it to you?” She asked out of the middle of nowhere.

“By it, do you mean herpes?”

“You are too much,” Mom said. “The book, Hazel, I mean the book”

It’s the scenes and lines like this that make this book so deceiving. Exchanges like this lure you into a false sense of snarky security only to have all of your feelings and heart ripped out and jumped on. Seriously. If you feel like letting your heart get ripped out and used as John Green’s personal trampoline, please, by all means read this book. Even if you don’t, please, by all means read this book. I held out for so long, it seemed like EVERYONE was talking about it. So naturally, I avoided it. In avoiding it, I think I made a huge mistake. I would have liked to gush about this book with everyone else.

This book is beautifully written with smart, memorable characters. It’s very visceral in it’s imagery, and it’s a writing style I’m drawn to. I LOVED this book. I’m looking forward to the movie, and throwing this book at my bestie the first chance I get so I can go to the theater and cry with her. I want to see this on the big screen and see if my images of the events match the creative vision. I’m keeping this book. It’s finding a home on my already too stuffed bookcase and it’s going to live there forever.

Overall: pink5 pink4 I’m sorry that I also don’t have a graphic for “Left me sobbing on the floor, clutching the book to my chest.”