According to Colin, the difference between a prodigy and a genius is that a prodigy learns things that other people have already figured out, only faster, while a genius comes up with ideas that no one has thought of before. Colin is a prodigy—he could read at three, and by the fourth grade, he was translating Ovid for fun. At seventeen, he feels washed up. He has not made a major discovery, and realizes that while he continues to learn, his pace has slowed. While he excels at many things, the thing he seems best at is being dumped by girls named Katherine. Nineteen girls named Katherine, to be exact. When Katherine the Nineteenth dumps him on the night of their high school graduation, Colin falls into despair. He is alone, she doesn’t love him, and his Eureka moment may never come. Hoping to drag him out of his funk, Colin’s best friend Hassan decrees that a road trip is the only cure.
An Abundance of Katherines is an interesting look into the mind of someone who is academically extremely gifted, while being socially disadvantaged. It is also extremely funny at parts, especially Hassan and Colin’s discussions. It’s a great trip, full of adventures, anagrams and intriguing strangers, and along the way Colin makes a discovery when he least expects it. It was a 2007 Printz Award Honor Book. If it were made into a movie (there were some rumors that it would be) Jesse Eisenberg would be the perfect Colin.