|Nomadic SA Chick||
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.
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Of all the girls Colin has dated, they have all been named Katherine, and their names have never diverged from this spelling, and they've never had a nickname. When the latest Katherine dumps him, he sets off on a summer road trip with his best friend, Hassan, and they end up in podunk Tennessee. After meeting a local girl named Lindsey and her mother, Hassan and Colin are offered a job and place to stay ... With Lindsey and her mother. On top of the job, Colin is also spending his summer creating a math equation that can predict the shelf-life of a relationship, and he uses all 19 of his Katherine's to test his theorem. In an odd turn of events we quickly learn that while Colin has dated 19 girls named Katherine, Lindsey has only dated one boy, her current boyfirend, Colin, referred to as TOS (The Other Colin) by our main character Colin, and Hassan.
When I finished this book I initially liked it, for a YA novel. As I sit here and review it, I am starting to realize that there is not a lot to like about this book. The one charming thing I found about this book was all the random pieces of information (ALL THE FOOTNOTES) in this book. As much as I liked them there came a point where they became distracting and started to take away from the story. All that being said, I present to you a break down of the issues I had:
1. Colin's constant whining. If he is not whining about being dumped yet again by a Katherine, he's complaining about being a child prodigy that has not turned into a genius, and that he's wasting his life. Maybe he's wasting his life because he keeps repeating dumb behaviors that always end badly for him. Or maybe it's because instead of doing something real with his life he spent his entire childhood being anti-social and is now spending his summer in podunk Tennessee.
2. Colin and Hassan's word usage. This is a difficult one to explain if you have not read the book, but Colin and Hassan's language primarily revolves around inside jokes, some of which you learn about right away, others you don't read about until nearly the end. The most overused words in this book (you could seriously turn this into a drinking game): Kafir (Hassan's nickname for Colin), "Jewfro", "Fug, Fugging, and Fugger", Katherine, Prodigy, Genius, and the different nicknames they gave to all the teenage boys in Tennessee, which the only one was memorable was TOS. The nickname things was beyond annoying because they weren't just nicknames, they were abbreviated nicknames, such as TOS, and the only time you heard the boy's actually names is when they were first introduced.
3. There are no redeemable characters in this book whatsoever.
Colin is a smart, whining, self-absorbed asshole.
Hassan is a lazy, wise cracking slob.
Lindsey is a hallow shell of a girl whose entire life seems to revolve around TOS who used to call her a dog, and make fun of her. Now her way of getting revenge is to date him. Da fuck?!
TOS is a slimy asshole who has been cheating on Lindsey during their entire relationship.
Lindsey's mother is absent from her daughter's life as she is trying to keep her business and the town afloat. She's a terrible business owner, but a great people person, expect for when it comes to her daughter, because she realizes her daughter is in an unhealthy relationship, yet says nothing about it.
Colin's parents who push him to be this child prodigy but do nothing to help socialize him and support him, outside of giving him books and the means to learn.
Katherine 19 might be the only redeemable character as she realizes how screwed up Colin is, and decides to dump his ass. The when he calls her crying and pleading for her to come back, she stands her ground and says no. As she acknowledged, they both have to move on.
4. This plot is so unbelievable. A 17 year old boy, who does not socialize, and who has only had one friend his entire life has managed to date 18 different girls named Katherine, with no deviation of this name or the spelling. This guy has had more relationships than years he has been alive, and somehow they've all had the same name. Maybe if the girls had been named Emily or something that has been more popular over the past 20 years, it might be a little more believable, but I still could not get passed an anti-social guy who admits that he doesn't have many friends because he does not know how to talk to people, has managed to date 18 different girls in such a short period of time. Not to mention that there is no rhyme nor reason for the name Katherine. Even Colin admits there does not seem to be anything about it, "it just happens".
So this is the end of my review, turned rant. I originally gave this 4 out of 5, but as I have worked through the review, my final score is a 2 out of 5.