An Abundance of Katherines deals with a number of themes prevalent in young adult literature: the difficulties involved in growing up, the painfulness of change, and the evolution of self-identity.
The transition from late adolescence to young adulthood proves to be confusing for Colin, Hassan, and Lindsey. Even though Hassan and Lindsey think they are just helping Colin through his Katherine problems, they all come to realize that they need to make a change in order to make their lives what they want them to be. All three can either stay on the “planned” path—another Katherine, another episode of Judge Judy, a life in Gutshot—or deviate from what is normal and find something new.
Colin thinks a lot about what the future will bring. He quotes various pieces of information that show he may not grow up to be an adult genius. Having been considered a special child his entire life, Colin cannot accept that he would no longer be special. His identity of “child prodigy, special, intelligent, social outcast” has been set in concrete so long, how can Colin define himself if those things are no longer true? Colin is a perpetual "Dumpee," a child prodigy, and a lover of Katherines. If he turns out to be a "Dumper," a regular person with regular intelligence, and a lover of a Lindsey, is he still Colin? Is he still special?
As in many young adult books, the three main characters struggle with the idea of identity: Lindsey changes identities to suit those whom she is around; who is she, really, then? Hassan is funny, lazy, and a lover of Judge Judy. Is that who he really wants to be?
In order to face these questions, the main characters need to face the idea of change. Colin embraces the idea that maybe he will grow up to be a regular person—and that is okay. Dating Katherines made him special and an individual; perhaps dating a Lindsey will be liberating and make him happier. Lindsey originally...
(The entire section is 707 words.)