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Ever wanted to know how long a relationship would last? Who would break up with who? Have a way to figure out if beginning the relationship in the first place is even worth the trouble? Receive all those answers by plugging in a few factors into a mathematical theorem, sounds simple enough to me, and to Colin Singleton. Colin is a new high school graduate, a soon-to-be-ex child prodigy, and this theorem, the theorem that could potentially make him a genius, is the problem he is facing.
You see, Colin has a problem. Colin falls in love very easily. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if it wasn't for the fact that all his "loves" have been named Katherine (exactly 19 of them). Each of those Katherines have broken up with him for whatever reason; and after the love of his life (Katherine XIX) leaves him in a terribly bad place he decides to use that to his advantage. He tries to make himself a genius by coming up with the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, to not only make himself known for something, but to also figure out why all nineteen Katherines have dumped him.
As a distraction, Colin and his best friend Hassan set out on a road trip to nowhere, in The Hearse (Colin's car). Seeing a sign for the grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the boys head to Gutshot, Tennessee; a small town, where they happen upon Lindsey Lee Wells, a girl who is nothing like any Katherine has been for Colin. She reads celebrity rag magazines, her friends, her boyfriend (also named Colin, aptly dubbed T.O.C. aka The Other Colin), and her wealthy mother Hollis, who offers the boys a place to stay. The palace-sized home on top of the hill being more than just large and full of interesting things, but it's also a shade of pink only rivaled by a bottle of Pepto Bismol.
Hollis hires the boys to accompany Lindsey with getting an oral history of Gutshot, which means visiting everyone that works in the factory (which produces tampon strings, just so you know), the people too old to work, and the people so old to work they are in the old folks home. Colin also decides his "Eureka" moment is finishing the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, but what he doesn't count on is better than finishing any theorem. He not only finds himself, but that there are some things (i.e. chance, memory recollection, the unpredictability of matters of the heart) that can't be solved in a theorem, math, or science. Some things have to be lived, and we follow these three through their adventures, learning to be somebody, mattering as a person without being world-famous, and just growing up.
There are so many things about this book that I love! Upon meeting Lindsey's friends, the boys immediately came up with amusing acronyms for them (J.A.T.T. aka Jeans Are Too Tight, hehe). As someone who lives in Tennessee, I still couldn't help giggle every time Gutshot was mentioned. The footnotes! I forgot how fun those could be! The characters are quirky, and there is the ability to relate to them in a sense, and real. And the book taught me things I didn't know! Just for amusement, here are five things I didn't know before reading An Abundance of Katherines:
- Nikola Telsa loved...pigeons (yea, I know)...and had the original electricity idea, not Thomas Eddison.
- Looking at it from a scientific point of view, there is no proof that drinking eight glasses of water will do a darn thing for your health.
- William Taft was not only the fattest president, but got stuck in a bath tub one time (hehehe, so funny)
- Abligurition is an actual word, that I can't pronounce, but means "the spending of too much money on food."
- Not only is there a World's Largest Crucifix, but it is in Kentucky.
This is one of the few books that I would recommend to everyone! Don't worry about all the math, there are footnotes and graphics to explain it all. This is a book that guys and girls alike can enjoy!