I’m guessing that all of you have already heard of John Green, but on the slight off-chance that you haven’t …
- He first came to fame with Looking For Alaska (which I have been booktalking for years).
- He wrote several other novels about well-drawn and realistic teen characters like Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines.
- He wrote The Fault in Our Stars about two star-crossed teens with cancer that was partly based on a real girl who died … and then everything kind of exploded. And now it’s coming out as a movie, and everything exploded AGAIN.
Now most discussions of YA literature rebound back and forth between “Hey, why is John Green getting all the attention on the bestsellers lists when more diverse authors aren’t being recognized the same way?” and “Hey, check it out! John Green is the best thing ever, and I love his books more than anything in the whole wide world!” FWIW, I lean towards the “best thing ever” view myself.
If you want to learn more about John Green, you will discover that he’s a very social network-friendly / multimedia-savvy kind of guy. You can start by checking out his website, his tumblr, the YouTube videos he makes with his brother, the videos they make explaining all kinds of smart stuff, and then go on from there!
Colin has just graduated from high school, and he has just been dumped by a girl named Katherine. Graduating from high school is something new, but being dumped by a girl named Katherine isn’t. That’s because this is the nineteenth time that Colin has been dumped by a girl named Katherine. Some of his Katherine relationships have lasted for only a few hours, some for days, and the last one, K-19, for almost a year. But they all ended the same way, with Katherine as the Dumper and Colin as the Dumpee. With nothing to do over the summer but feel sorry for himself, Colin joins his friend Hassan on a road trip, exploring the country and meeting new people, anything to get his mind off of you-know-who.
Along the way, Colin reads lots of books and works on his theorem – the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability. He hopes this theory will be able to plot the history and predict the future, not just of Colin and all nineteen Katherines, but of dumpers and dumpees everywhere. On their road trip, though, Colin finds a lot of things to distract him from his misery, including the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and a hunting trip for feral pigs. They’re a lot larger and a lot meaner than you might expect – the pigs, that is, not the Archduke.
Colin also meets a girl named Lindsey, who is pretty and smart and has a crazy sense of humor … in fact, she’s the first girl NOT named Katherine that he’s ever found attractive. Unfortunately, Lindsey is already taken … by another boy named Colin.