A Writer’s Review: An Abundance of Katherines

A novel that is one of the less famed works from John Green, An Abundance of Katherines tells the story of a boy who has only ever dated girls named Katherine. I think the reason this novel confused me, was because it was trying to be an extremely intellectual book. A novel that tried to combine logic and math with a story of teenage romance. It plagued some abstract writing styles that included making various references at the bottom of a page to something as if the story was some kind of a Wikipedia article. In fact the wikipedia article on this novel features a cover that looks like this is a 1980’s high school math textbook.

There were some hard things to grasp with this, such as details on Colin’s ethnicity. Lately these days, culture is extremely trying to be kind towards different genders, race, sexual identity etc… It’s something I’ve started to notice growing up, especially over the last few years. This book seems like it was somewhat of an early start at keying its way into that club, the club of everybody’s equal and everyone should get some stardom. Colin was a jew, I think? His friend was named Hassan and he was Muslim.

The overall story seemed to primarily be about Colin meeting a girl named Lindsey and this being a break in his cycle of dating girls named Katherine. Whilst I was looking forward to diving into another novel from my favorite author, I really struggled to enjoy this book, and unfortunately see why it is one of the less well known/received books from John.

– Michael Topschij.

It was good! And pathetic.

I’ve just completed reading through; ‘Me Earl and the Dying Girl”. It was a good book, that was pathetic. As a dedication to a novel that accepted no boundaries for a novel. And the fact I can’t be bothered really writing this all up, I’ll sum it up in the same style this book used frequently:

INT Michael’s Review.

• The book used some unique styles
• The story made sense
• My second novel I’ve read about cancer
• It highlighted how pathetic high school students are
• The story was slow building until it quickly got into some movement
• I loved how it was a fictional character writing a book
• I’m confused if I appreciate the realness of this story, or not

… Michael Topschij.

A Writer’s Review: The Way We Roll

I love goats! My first ever pet was a goat and his name was Zack. I was disappointed that CeC in The Way We Roll (the goat in this story) was only introduced so far into the plot. But, the Way We Roll was an enjoyable and funny novel. I loved how the characters were portrayed in a certain light, that their introduction was made when needed. I will admit, I did struggle to grasp the importance of who was who until the story progressed further, but eventually understanding who was who’s sister, friend, girlfriend etc…

The Way We Roll is a story about a young boy who’s father did something that caused him to run away from home. I will admit, I know that feeling. Not the, father doing something, but the running away from home thing. I’ve ran away from New Zealand all the way to California when I was 17. And this story showed me what it could have been like, if I didn’t have family there. We saw Will smuggle himself into the underground of a bowling alley, sleep underneath freeways and flat with friends from his work as a supermarket trolley pusher. We learn about girlfriend sex tapes, and even make friends with a security guard goat who lives next door. It was definitely great to see an enjoyable story come from just across the ditch in Australia.

– Michael Topschij. 

A Writer’s Review: The Catcher in the Rye

I hate being cynical. I even hate that I’m going to be making some critical comments about a well known classic. But quite simply, everything is different to different people. I unfortunately did not really enjoy reading through The Catcher in the Rye. I of course apologize to this well renowned classic novel. And also to those that enjoy this work. But for me, I sigh, because it did not do anything for me. I lacked anticipation to keep turning pages, and couldn’t wait for the final page to be turned. I struggled to grasp myself into the story, and follow along with seeing where things were going. The introduction of characters was not clear for me, and the progression of events felt sloppy and almost useless in some parts. In fact, if someone asked me to explain what this novel was about, I would almost have to say, I don’t know.

I loved being taken back in time, to the more vintage american feel. Exploring the rugged and wild times in New York City. I definitely connected with Holden (not referencing to Australian motor cars here) when he went night clubbing on a wild night for him. It was definitely fascinating to see an experience like that through his eyes. One other thing that would definitely be a positive for this, was the language and way characters were portrayed. I could almost say that Holden was providing a tutorial to readers for chatting up girls, and picking fights with flatmates. He introduced me to some new words for my vocabulary like “Necking”, “Chrissake” and “Crumby-like”. With all of that being said, I have to ask myself; Why am I being critical of something that is published by one of the largest publishing houses in the world? Well, because I have an opinion. And I don’t want to make false statements of admiration for something that simply, doesn’t do it for me. Perhaps I’m acting too much like someone of my age, and not appreciating things of a classic nature. And maybe that means I need to wear some different glasses when reading, have a fresh look at novels that have built up such a bold reputation.

– Michael Topschij.

Please remove girls…

A fare warning before you start to read through this… I may or may not be slightly intoxicated whilst writing this. Although, I don’t really get “drunk” as such, it does indeed relax you and cause you to do things, that you don’t usually do… Like write a post on the internet about a girl.

I’ve been spending the week at an important event. If you’re following me on the various social networks I use, you should know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, well go take a gander at my twitter… See, the thing is, I had intended to get quite a lot done during the week. I’ve got a novel that has a lot of editing to be done. I was planning on spending time in a coffee shop and writing for a day. I also planned to visit the De Young Art Museum. These things, I did not really do. Why? Because I was distracted… See, when I arrived at the main keynote event, I walked past, a girl. (A girl, okay, so what?) Yes, to the average person, it’s quite over the top for me to have such a reaction, but this story continues. See, she reminded me of someone who inspired a character, in something I’m currently writing. What did I do? I went up and asked her what time the event starts (yes, I already knew the answer to such a question). Time carried on… But day two, I went to an event of the bottom floor. I bumped into that very same girl. What did I do, I went up and said hi… I managed to make through a conversation for a good ten minutes or so, until leaving her to carry on working… Day three. The short period of learning about this new found interest had thoroughly overtaken my ability to focus on anything. I came up with questions and problems I needed answered just so that I could be on the same floor and “accidentally” bump into said interest. We got past the unknown void of introductions and made it to learning each others names. Then… I asked her out. Yes, I asked if she wanted to go out sometime. What happened? Well, she has my number…

Time carried on. I managed to “bump” into her once more before and ask if she was free one of the days before I went home. Unfortunately the answer was no. I thought, hmm, well we can still talk through the joy of technology that we are here for. But, I finally saw her at a concert. After having a few beers with friends, they managed to convince me to wander up and say hi. Should I have done that? Well, yes… Because I was able to see her flirting with another colleague. Ah yes… See, girls, can be frustrating (oh boy). And I would like to ask something. Please, remove girls… Well, remove the wild hormones that cause such chaos as this. I have things to do, and a life to live.

– Michael Topschij.