When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is 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, washedup child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judyloving best friend riding shotgunbut 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.
Though Woodman did a strong job on the audio version of Green's Looking for Alaska (see above), the author's second young adult novel proves to be more of a challenge. This follow-up is looser and less traditionally structured, more in the postmodern vein, without a sad and lovable heroine for a narrator to wrap his energies around. There's a much nerdier element to Green's latest hero, teenage prodigy Colin Singleton, and not as much understandable or likeable weirdness in the other characters. Despite these shortcomings, Woodman does manage to carve out a narrow turf of credibility and interest, where young adults who enjoy being tested by their entertainment choices might find some moments of pleasure. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.