professornana (professornana) wrote,

  • Mood:

a dab can shorten fake ennui

OK, this makes sense if you have read AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by Printz winner John Green. When your first book wins the Printz, it must be rather daunting to send out its successor. Nothing apparently daunts John Green who offers readers a novel that is complex and straightforward at the same time. Beware, there are anagrams, mathematical formulae, and loads of trivia that accompany the story of Colin, he of the 19 girlfriends all named Katherine. After being sumped by Katherine XIX (who was also Katherine I), Colin and his friend Hassan embark on a road trip. For Colin, perhaps this journey will fill the very physical void left by Katherine XIX's dumping him. For Hassan, the trip might just take the focus of his parents from the fact that his year off before beginning college is looking more like a longer stretch of time. Colin and Hassan end up in a small town in Tennessee, lured by a sign indicating that Archduke Franz Ferdinand is buried there. For Colin and Hassan pig hunts, oral histories, and some never-to-be-forgotten characters will make an indelible impression on them both.

Green proves that LOOKING FOR ALASKA was just a first glimpse of the talent this young man brings to YA literature. AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES demonstrates that he can tell a story that keeps readers turning the pages longing to see what will happen next (and, yes, even cheating by turning to the afterword and the appendix). Smart, funny, bittersweet, and poignant at turns, this book is a worthy second chapter in the works of the talented Mr. Green.

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