Child prodigy Colin is on a quest to become a genius and discover the equation for his repeated relationships with girls named Katherine. Colin Singleton grew up as a child prodigy after winning a children's game show. He has yet to discover what will make him a genius, or what he calls his ‘Eureka moment'. Aged seventeen, he has only one friend and constantly spends his time reading and making anagrams from words. Colin has had 19 relationships with girls named Katherine, all of whom he believes has dumped him.
After the end of relationship with Katherine-19 (who was incidentally also the first Katherine) Colin's best friend Hassan Harbish finds him depressed, and suggests that they embark on a road trip during their break between high school and college. The two teens drive from Chicago to Tennesse, where they settle in the small town of Gutshot, following the tourist attraction of the alleged final resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
They meet Lindsey Lee Wells, who gives tours of the Archduke's tomb. Lindsey's mother Hollis, who runs the local factory which produces tampon strings, and is the main source of income for the town, employs Colin and Hassan. They are invited to live in the town while they record an oral history of Gutshot, by interviewing all the elderly residents of the town.
Colin is still working on finding his ‘Eureka moment' and believes he can finally become a genius by creating an equation based on his relationships with Katherines. He begins to create the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Probability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship. He finds a flaw in his theorem, and realises that he had in fact dumped one of the Katherines, and not the other way around as he had convinced himself.
Colin and Hassan become closer to Lindsey, who has a jock boyfriend also called Colin. To avoid confusion, they refer to him as The Other Colin or TOC. Hassan begins a relationship with Lindsey's friend Katrina, which ends when Katrina and The Other Colin are found having sex near the tomb of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
As their cheating is revealed and the couples argue, Colin retreats to his anagram obsession, and discovers that Archduke Franz Ferdinand is not actually buried in Gutshot. The name on the tomb is an anagram of Lindsey's great-grandfather, Fred N. Dinzanfar. After breaking up with The Other Colin Lindsey runs away to a cave which is her secret hideout. Colin follows her and tells her the story of the Katherines. The two share their first kiss, breaking the chain of Katherine.
Colin finds that his theorem doesn't predict the future of relationships and only shows why his Katherine relationships failed. Lindsey is persuaded to finally leave her small town home, and embarks on a further adventure with Colin and Hassan. Realising that he does not need to be a genius to find happiness, Colin is simply content with the relationships he has built with the people around him, and finally feels ‘normal'.
Best part of story, including ending:
Colin was an interesting character who's inner monologue was fun and entertaining to read
Best scene in story:
As Colin and Lindsey lie in the dark cave together and reveal their darkest secrets, you discover so much more about them and their relationships through simple dialogue that isn't distracted by description. You are drawn into their world and feel the anticipation of their first kiss building in the dark.
Opinion about the main character:
Colin Singleton is unique and fascinating, you can't imagine anyone else like him.