Colin is the novel's narrator and its main character. He was a child prodigy, speaking and reading before the age of two. This led Colin’s parents to send him to a variety of psychologists and to be studied by a number of people. Colin loved this feeling of being special. He would spend at least four hours a day reading and studying.
His teachers and parents, however, grew concerned about Colin being “sociologically behind.” When Colin began going to school, he was not sure how to interact with his classmates. Other students would tease him, calling him “Colon.” They would also administer the “Abominable Snowman” to Colin: four kids, each grabbing one of his legs or arms, pulled him in a different directions. Colin thus became even more reserved and focused on his studies. He also began to develop his skill in making anagrams.
In high school, Colin was chosen to be on a game show called KranialKidz. The show gave him a new persona—a flippant smart kid. This “new look” made Colin popular for a brief period of time, but it was not until tenth grade that Colin made a true friend when he met Hassan in Calculus class.
Since the third grade, Colin has dated girls named Katherine. As the book opens, Colin is reeling from a bad breakup with Katherine 19. It is Colin’s depression that compels Hassan to suggest their road trip.
Colin’s main struggle in the book is two-fold: he misses Katherine 19, so in order to get her to take him back, he needs to do something that matters. This becomes his impetus to work on his relationship predictability theorem. Colin has been worried since a young age that he would not have his “Eureka” moment—the moment of great discovery that would prove his genius. He hopes this theorem is his Eureka moment, and the success of this theory will cause him to be remembered and to “matter.”
(The entire section is 736 words.)