you can't always get what you want

Yesterday, I finished reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. It was good.

Really, it’s a wonder I ever did well on book reports when I was in grade school (or even in high school). There’s no creativity in the way I discuss books, deeper meaning often eludes me, and when I read the Great Gatsby under duress, I didn’t even realize there was a pool that figured quite prominently in the book.*

So, really, most of my book reports were me saying “I really liked this book.” followed by a list of the various plot points.

That being said, I’ll attempt to explain Katherine. Or the book, at least. A recend high school grad/child prodigy (Colin) goes on a road trip with his best friend after being dumped by the 19th girl he’s dated named Katherine.

One of Colin’s weird child prodigy things is his ability to anagram everything. I found this fascinating. There were also footnotes throughout the book, most of which you could get by without reading. But if you’re anything like me, you are compelled to read footnotes, even when they say nothing important. It could say “Ha! Made you look!” and I’d still be compelled to read footnotes.

I think I kind of identified with Colin. I wasn’t necessarily a child prodigy, but I was bright. Really bright. At some point, I realized that bright kids don’t necessarily go on to change the world – clearly I’m not curing cancer now like I wanted to when I was younger** – and I became one of those people who won’t change the world. Colin struggles with a similar revelation and comes to an excellent conclusion (which I’m not going to share because then you wouldn’t ever read the book).

*In my defense, it was my freshman year of high school and I tried to read something else, but my teacher was convinced I’d figure out what was going on. This was the downfall of Honors English.

**Although I am at least attempting to convince people to get screened for cancer on a regular basis and before it’s too late.

2 thoughts on “you can't always get what you want

  1. It should be enough just to say “I liked it.”

    I have this fear that if I totally trash a book that’s when the author will decide to do a little ego-surfing. Ergo, rarely a bad review from me. (Contrast the list of books I’ve actually read with the list of those I’ve blogged about.)

  2. Sometimes that’s all I want to say about a book, too. I liked it. Or, go read it. Other times I can talk and talk (and still not manage to say anything significant).

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