An Abundance of Katherines

When it comes to relationships, everyone has a type. Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. He has dated–and been dumped by–19 Katherines. In the wake of The K-19 Debacle, Colin–an anagram-obsessed washed-up child prodigy–heads out on a road trip with his overweight, Judge Judy- loving friend Hassan. With 10,000 dollars in his pocket and a feral hog on his trail, Colin is on a mission to prove a mathematical theorem he hopes will predict the future of any relationship (and conceivably win the girl).An Abundance of Katherines was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Honor book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named one of the books of the year by Booklist, Horn Book, and Kirkus.

If you are fully prepared to be inundated with spoilers, you can learn much, much more about Katherines at the book’s Questions page.

If you would like to read this book in another language, go to the Translations page.

Reviews (Spoiler Alert!)

“Imagine an operating room at the start of a daring but well-rehearsed procedure and you will have something of the atmosphere of ”An Abundance of Katherines”: every detail considered, the action unrolling with grace and inevitability.”

-New York Times Book Review

“Green follows his Printz winning Looking for Alaska (2005) with another sharp, intelligent story. The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual.”
-Booklist, Starred Review

“Fully fun, challengingly complex, and entirely entertaining.”
-Kirkus, Starred Review

“Laugh-out-loud funny, this second novel by the author of the Printz winner Looking for Alaska charts a singular coming-of-age American road trip that is at once a satire of and a tribute to its many celebrated predecessors.”
-Horn Book, Starred Review

{ 417 comments… read them below or add one }

Trisha July 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Heyo John!
If you don’t mind, I actually used you as my subject in my Art essay themed: “The Genius of Man”. How can I not when you are truly a genius? I can’t express how much I’m very grateful for your writing but just in case you want to know what my essay contained you can email me and i’ll send it to you.
I love your books and i can’t wait for your upcoming ones. You truly helped in shaping me to be who I am today and I can’t thank you enough. Your books were the source of my heartbreak but it was also the one who gave me my inspiration to write my own story and express my feelings through writing. I’m very honored to witness your genius through your works and through being a nerdfighter. I hope you never stop writing and inspiring not only me but a lot of people across the world.
God Bless,


Zyra Mae Go July 12, 2014 at 11:54 pm

Good day Mr. Green! I’m a big fan from the Philippines. I have watched TFIOS and have read Paper Towns. Those are really great and awesome. I hope one day, you’ll visit our country and got a chance to know more about you. But this time, I’m hoping you’ll read this letter. Your works will be the legacy to the future generation so please don’t stop writing. Thank you for all your inspiring stories about teenagers. I’m a true witness of your greatness. God bless, Zyra


Sarina July 16, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I haven’t read this book yet, but I feel that it seems oddly weird. Why would a guy only be interested in girls named Katherine?


Mark July 21, 2014 at 12:08 am

I thought that it was slightly odd as well. In the book, it says that at first Colin, the main character, didn’t mean for it to happen that way, but after a few Katherines he accepted it as fate and only dated girls with that name from then on. I agree that the whole “I only date Katherines” thing” was a bit unnecessary, though.
That’s not to say that I didn’t love the book, though!


Anna August 28, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I can totally see how it could be considered “weird” or “unnecessary” but I really think it is an important character choice for Colin. I just assumed that it was a quirk due to his prodigy status (often times people with higher Intelligence Quotients as children have neurotic tendencies). Or, perhaps, it could signify a never-ending cycle of heartbroken-ness. I mean, does he (Colin) ever truly heal from his past relationships? It almost appears he does not have time to! Haha!


İdil July 17, 2014 at 4:56 am

” Hi, ”

I’m from Turkey so I dont know englısh a lot but I want to say ı am a big fan of your books. (I actually send this on e-mail But ı cant find yours.) My favorite one is An a Abundance of Katherines. Cause ı think Lindsley looks like me -ı guess I’m taller- ı got big eyes and a long nose. I havent got a problem with it but ı am a little angry to Hasan.

But ı listen indie-rock music so my favorite Katherine is seventeenth. Absolutly I’m not an emo.

I adore the book and Colin. ( Just sayin if you really think like Peter Van Houten, when the books are finish, the carecters dont die. Cause ı always think about them. ‘Whats happen now?’ Or ‘ So, Lindsley and Colin live together forever’ or ‘ Colin must be mine, ı think every thing he say is interesting!’.) He is not perfect (and ı really like that) and ı dont understand why he throw up when Katherine broke up with he. ( Sorry for my english. I must listen the lessons.)

I can talk with you ( or Mr.Green ı dont know, but ı say you.) all day about the books, Colin, the theorem, Katherines and a little bit Augustus. But thats not the point.

Your thoughts are so true for me! About the books (in part eleven), about being important, and the theorem will be so usefull. But we cant see the future. I want to say a lot of things but ı dont remember them now.

Dont stop writing! ( If Colin was real ı will date with him.)



Noname8595 July 17, 2014 at 10:59 am

Dear John Green,

First of all, I would appreciate if this could be a private contact, but since that is not the case, for now I am noname.
While I appreciate your skill as a writer and love most of your books, I was profoundly shocked by how you portrayed a pg (profoundly gifted) child in your book, ‘An Abundance of Katherines’. Being a pg child myself (IQ of 175+) I strongly feel you should have done much more research before making one of your characters have an IQ of 200, as you say.
Colin does not represent any of the attributes (besides having a good memory) of a pg person. I really am upset about your display of a pg person.

Hopefully you will read this and understand.

Noname8595 (if you contact me privately I can give more information)


Karyn July 18, 2014 at 12:18 am

So one day in early July I found myself stumbling into the library to spend a good hour before I had tennis practice. I had never read a John Green book. I’m not much for young adult novels (I’m more into science fiction) but I went to the section anyways to read A Fault in Our Stars since the movie had just came out. It was checked out but I found instead An Abundance of Katherine’s and decided to read it just because. Being recently dumped by the same guy for the fourth time I was shocked at how much I connected to the novel. I especially enjoyed the part where Colin acknowledged that getting K-19 back could never fill the hole created within him from missing her. I was just looking for a book to read for fun not knowing it would entirely change my perspective on my previous relationship (or relationships depending on if you count dating the same person more than once as more than one relationship). I finally understand how I feel towards him as I identify with Colin. Thank you for writing a book that captures how I (and I’m assuming many other 17 year old dumpees) feel. Plus I’m totally in love with anything having to do with algebra based math.
With sincere gratitude,


Elizabeth July 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Hi John,
I highly doubt you are going to see this, because duh you have a lot of other important things to do. But I really wanted to say thank you, and i didn’t know any other way to do it except writing here and I HAD TO DO IT BECAUSE I’M FILED WITH EXCITEMENT AND THANKFULNESS AND I MIGHT EXPLODE IF I DON’T SAY ANYTHING. So, thank you for inspiring me. Also a sarcastic “thank you” for the 4th book by you that I just finished. Can’t help but feeling empty. Why do books have to end?
John, keep being awesome and keep being such a great inspiration. Btw, I absolutely love your videos. You and Hank never fail to make my day.
I should probably tell you that one of my goals in life is meeting you, because you are a wonderful human being.
Thank you ( a real big genuine thank you).

Your future friend


Autumn July 24, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Okay so I’m sorry if this gets annoying because I’m going to post this in a lot of places so that it’s more likely you see it but: I’m Autumn. I’m 14 years old. I live in Houston, Texas. I would like to be you for Halloween. I don’t care if I’m a girl. I would vlog while dressed up like you, but I don’t know what I would wear. I have some ideas but I am curious to how YOU want me to portray you. Is there anything specific you would want me to wear or have on my person? I think you are an awesome person and am so very excited to get to be you for a night. Thank you for being you and please let me know how you think I should dress up. ~Autumn


izzie July 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Not in the first person, unlike all your other books. I like that.


Camila July 28, 2014 at 2:34 am

so it had been my birthday recently, i have discovered a fascination with literature lately, so i had decide to have a strictly only money and books policy.
i had already read The Fault In Our Stars, and i very much enjoyed it, so next i moved on to Paper Towns which i loved deeply (on of my favorite books) then i continued my streak with The Abundance Of Katherines, and i could now put it down. (Finished it at 2am) i coudn’t help but picture Troye Sivan as Colin.
to put it lightly i have not let go of Looking For Alaska, i would see a movie version of any of your books and i sit here waiting for another John Green Spectacular.


Cassidy Combs July 29, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I am almost half way through “An Abundance of Katherines” and am already in love.
I love how you write books, you keep the reader wanting to never put the book done.
I have read “The Fault in our Stars” , “Paper Towns”.
Keep writing books I will read them all.
I have the whole collection except for 2, can not wait to get the ones I do not have so I can put them into my collection.
I am supper excited
yours truly, Cassidy Combs


Isabella Y July 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Dear John Green,
I love your books, and my personal favorite at the moment is An Abundance Of Katherines. I had to read it as a summer reading assignment (which just gave me an excuse to tell my mom to buy a copy) and I read it, a lot. I have read all of your books through my teenage issues and honestly I think I wouldn’t be who I am today without having read them.

I am 14 years old and I started writing a realistic fiction book 4 years ago. I am a rapid reader and I write an entry at least twice a week in a journal (I wish daily but sometimes I just never get around to it). I have been a nerdfighter for about 2 years now, mainly for the reason that I wasn’t allowed to watch YouTube until I was 12 and hadn’t really considered anyone who hasn’t watched the vlogbrothers for at least a year a nerdfighter.

I need advice though, I can’t seem to finish my book. I keep editing whole chapters at a time fearing that if someone were to read a piece of it they would be horrified. I started this because my mother told me that sometimes you have to “murder your darlings” when you are writing and I took it to a whole new level.

How did you a mange to finish your books? Were there any special things you did to help you write? I try and focus on getting everything written down and then I end up changing everything.

Anyway, because An Abundance Of Katherines is my current favorite book, I made an anagram for you (Soo… Look! Test A Novelist!). I hope that counts. Thank you for reading this and I hope you are doing well!

Isabella Y


Monique July 31, 2014 at 2:50 am

I read this book a while ago however, before I read it an abundance of people told me that it was extremely boring, being me I still read it as I thought that well honestly their opinion will not affect what I think of a book and I would simply not judge it until I have read it. I found this book ultimately interesting and at some points humorous. So basically I just wanted to ask does anybody know what part would be boring about this book? Also to not judge a book by what people will tell you because I was not planning on reading An Abundance of Katherines until I did xx


FoundTheWayOut August 7, 2014 at 10:22 am

I loved every single book J. Green wrote, except this one. Which really annoyed me because it was the last one I read (or at least partially read). I thought it was quite boring and I stopped reading it half way through the book. The story was just too…I don’t know, silly? It was funny at times and, as always, well written, but it just didn’t feel right.

Green remains my favorite author though and I would never criticize the author, only the book.



Julia Surbrook August 17, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I agree, I have read this book, TFiOS, Paper Towns, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. I loved them all but I didn’t really like this one. I found it boring and lame and I didn’t really connect with the characters like I did in his other books. I also don’t get and am awful at math, which was a big part of the story. I mean, the only part it really got interesting was when Colin went out hunting for those wild pigs. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I understood math better, but again I didn’t.
I really love John Green, he is my favorite author. I just didn’t like how almost the entire book they were going around interviewing people, Colin working on the Theorem, and Colin and Hassan constantly saying “fug.”
I really love John Green. But this book was okay. I would give it a 3 out of 5, while I would give Will Grayson, Will Grayson a 5, TFiOS a 5, and Paper Towns a 5


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Ella Smith August 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Dear John Green,

I have always been curious about the meaning of the word ‘Ovid’ used in ‘An Abundance Of Katherines’. I would be very grateful if you could tell me!
The Quote: ‘He immersed himself in Ovid, grieving hiss loss in silence, and she continued to watch him for the next half hour until her parents came into the living room to take her home.’

Your Fan,

- If anyone knows the meaning could you tell me (I hope I’m not asking a question to which the answer it completely obvious)
-Please write more books!! (On behalf of your fans, ‘we love your work’.)


Missnintendo August 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Hmm I know Ovid is the name of a story I once read for an English class, so reading the sentence it seems to me like Colin was simply reading the story.


seçil from turkey August 14, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Hi john
Im from turkey.firstly know i have terrible english ;) sorry, please try to understand me :(
Ok.mmm i started to your book one ( two?? I dont know)hour ago
I am laughting for many minutes thanks to u :D because im realyy curious and i tried read end of the book^_^ and i saw your small warning! You traped me :)
Sorry for my mistakes
Ps: your book name’s is FIRST LOVE in Turkey but i like it :))

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GG August 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Hello, wanted to ask a question that bothers me somewhat. First I’m Brazilian, sorry for bad english, I’m using a translator. I wonder if there can be a sequel, because I finished the book and I was like: “.! May not have ended this way not” I’ve been wondering for a sequel, I think I still have many stories to tell.


Julia August 24, 2014 at 12:28 am

“God forbid, Catherine” :)


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Suzanny August 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

John Green da minha vida,sou do Brasil e amo seus livros, tenho todos menos o ”Quem é você, Alasca ?”.. Você escreve muito bem, no momento estou lendo o “O Teorema Katherine” e ganhei o ” A estrela que nunca vai se apagar” Já li metade dele e estou amando a historia de Esther, ela era muito linda, amanhã dia 25/08 vai fazer quatro anos que ela morreu :’( (acho que é amanhã, não tenho certeza da data em que a Esther se foi ! ) Amo seus livros e ja falei isso mas vou falar de novo porque eles são totalmente perfeitos, você John Green é meu escritor predileto . Não sei se você vai ler isto, mas saiba que se você ler eu ficarei muito feliz, sou sua fã te admiro muito, te sigo em todas as redes sociais, se você poder me responder vou até pular de alegria !! Com muito carinho escrevi este pequeno texto..
DE: Suzanny
PARA: Meu escritor, John Green


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Mitch September 1, 2014 at 5:47 am

I’m done reading the book. And I was stunned, I didn’t think of seeing Collin falls to Lindsey (He certainly wants a girl named Katherine) I suddenly thought He would fall to Katherine, the one working in the factory. Mr. Green, I really love reading your books. Keep it up!


Lais Reis September 1, 2014 at 8:44 pm

John Green,

First I apologize for my English, I am Brazilian and I’m using the google translator.

I would like to congratulate him for the excellent work. I’ve been reading one of his books ‘The fault is of the stars’ and moved me constantly, it’s like I’m living the life of Hazel Grace, feeling passion, love, tenderness and pain.

It was the first book of many that will still lher your collection.

Thank you, for the nights of lost sleep. Emocionate was a story.

Thank you!

Good night!

Lais Kings


Cameron September 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

I just started this book a few hours ago and I will say this: I don’t like it :(!!! Maybe it’s for boys to appreciate but, WHY KATHERINE???? What’s his problem???? It bugs me. It’s also slow and boring. And I hate having to go back and forth to see the meanings of the words. I thought every book of yours was amazing, but apparently not this one. I’m sorry for my criticism but it’s true. I don’t like it. I am still going to read your other books. I just finished Paper Towns and LOVED it! I have to decide between Paper Towns and The Fault In Our Stars. They’re both so amazing!! I look the humor in PT and love the romance in TFIOS. And in both, I love the life lessons. I’m only 11 years old but they changed my way of thinking. Is it true PaperTowns is becoming a movie? If so, I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!! Keep writing life changing stories!


Jazz September 15, 2014 at 2:29 pm

It’s actually a really beautiful story.


Simone September 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

God forbid Catherine :)


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LJ Deacon September 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

John, you are an absolute genius.
Keep writing life changing story’s.
You and your thoughts mean alot to me and others.
thank you.


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