Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Author:John Greene
TitleAn Abundance of Katherines 
Publication Info: New York, NY : Dutton Books, c2006.
ISBN: 0525476881

Previously Read By Same Author:  The Fault in Our Stars
Summary/Review:  Colin is a teenage former child prodigy, socially awkward, and has dated 19 girls all of whom are named Katherine.  After being dumped by Katherine #19, his friend Hassan encourages Colin to go on a road trip and they end up in rural Tennessee.  There they work collecting oral histories for a woman who runs a tampon string factory and Colin devises a mathematical formula for relationships which end in getting dump.  It’s entertaining book with a lot of laughs, but I find the characters too self-consciously quirky to get emotionally invested in.  Perhaps a good beach read, but not the excellent work of fiction of The Fault in Our Stars.

Recommended booksIn Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Rating: ***

Book Review: The Monster in the Mist by Andrew Mayne

Author: Andrew Mayne
Title: The Monster in the Mist
Publication Info: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ISBN: B0056A295I

I got this eBook as a special deal for Kindle on Amazon, not knowing much about it other than it was a mystery set in Boston in 1890 with a steampunk vibe.  April Malone is a young woman whose mysterious job is to tend an office where no one works and take lessons on various esoteric topics.  All of this is preparation for the arrival of the also mysterious man who just goes by the name Smith who emerges from behind a steel door one day and sets the pair on investigating several disappearances of people in Boston.  Smith is reminiscent of The Doctor from Doctor Who (who also sometimes goes by the name Smith) and the relationship of April Malone and Smith owes a debt to Holmes & Watson, but it’s not entirely derivative.  I was won over by the first part of this book, but less enamored with the latter half.  This is because Smith goes off on his own adventure and while ultimately aided by April, I think the book lacks something when not seen from her perspective as well as the interesting chemistry between the two characters.  This book is the first in a series of Chronological Man Adventures, and I hope that in future installments that two leads stay together.

Recommended booksThe Technologists by Matthew Pearl, The Alienist by Caleb Carr, and The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch.
Rating: ***