Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down – John Green


‘Your now is not your forever.’

16-year-old Aza is going through the motions to get through high school with her vibrant best friend Daisy at her side and trying not to spiral. Because Aza has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), making life that little bit more difficult. Getting through her day to day didn’t include trying to find a missing billionaire or his handsome son.

I started reading John Green just after The Fault in Our Stars came out so I could spend the years between books reading the rest of the novels he had written and I was still desperate to get my hands on the latest novel. Well, it was worth the wait because he’s managed to get it right again.

The reason the Aza and Daisy even begin their quest to find the missing billionaire is the hundred thousand dollar reward for information.  For Daisy, a reward would mean financial freedom, for Aza, however, her curiosity is based on Davis Pickett. Of course, as with all of Greens novels, there is an element of love and desire, after all, he is writing about teenagers.

It must be said I think this sets a different tone for John’s work. While we’re used to difficult themes within Green’s novels, ones that I frequently cry in, Turtles felt different. This is an own voices novel, Green has openly spoken about his life with OCD (you can watch a video about it here) and you can tell. I am familiar with the process of mental spirals and having it put into words was incredible.

Something that is not often seen in literature is the honest feelings of those around someone with a mental illness. I’m not going to spoil anything but Green has shown the honest reality of what it’s like for the person with the illness and those around them, because it’s not easy.

I gave this novel 5 stars because I loved it. As I thought I finished it within 24 hours in love with the characters and the way Green writes them. I know that some people haven’t liked this as much but I’m not one of them because it was wonderful. I also loved the ending, of course, I won’t spoil it for you, but it wasn’t typical, nor what I’d expect.

John Green is still, and probably always will be, one of my favourite authors of all time.

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