Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down

by John Green
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Overview

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

#1 bestselling author John Green returns with his first new novel since The Fault in Our Stars!
 
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred thousand dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
   
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 
 
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525555360
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,242
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

John Green is the award-winning, #1 bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with David Levithan), and The Fault in Our Stars. His many accolades include the Printz Medal, a Printz Honor, and the Edgar Award. John has twice been a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and was selected by TIME magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. With his brother, Hank, John is one half of the Vlogbrothers  and co-created the online educational series CrashCourse. You can join the millions who follow him on Twitter @johngreen and Instagram @johngreenwritesbooks or visit him online at johngreenbooks.com. John lives with his family in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Read an Excerpt

ONE

At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time—between 12:37 p.m. and 1:14 p.m.—by forces so much larger than myself that I couldn’t even begin to identify them. If those forces had given me a different lunch period, or if the tablemates who helped author my fate had chosen a different topic of conversation that September day, I would’ve met a different end—or at least a different middle. But I was -beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.

Of course, you pretend to be the author. You have to. You think, I now choose to go to lunch, when that monotone beep rings from on high at 12:37. But really, the bell decides. You think you’re the painter, but you’re the canvas.

Hundreds of voices were shouting over one another in the cafeteria, so that the conversation became mere sound, the rushing of a river over rocks. And as I sat beneath fluorescent cylinders spewing aggressively artificial light, I thought about how we all believed ourselves to be the hero of some personal epic, when in fact we were basically identical organisms colonizing a vast and windowless room that smelled of Lysol and lard.

I was eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich and drinking a Dr Pepper. To be honest, I find the whole process of masticating plants and animals and then shoving them down my esophagus kind of disgusting, so I was trying not to think about the fact that I was eating, which is a form of thinking about it.

Across the table from me, Mychal Turner was scribbling in a yellow-paper notebook. Our lunch table was like a long-running play on Broadway: The cast changed over the years, but the roles never did. Mychal was The Artsy One. He was talking with Daisy Ramirez, who’d played the role of my Best and Most Fearless Friend since elementary school, but I couldn’t follow their conversation over the noise of all the others.

What was my part in this play? The Sidekick. I was Daisy’s Friend, or Ms. Holmes’s Daughter. I was somebody’s something.

I felt my stomach begin to work on the sandwich, and even over everybody’s talking, I could hear it digesting, all the bacteria chewing the slime of peanut butter—the students inside of me eating at my internal cafeteria. A shiver convulsed through me.

“Didn’t you go to camp with him?” Daisy asked me.

“With who?”

“Davis Pickett,” she said.

“Yeah,” I said. “Why?”

“Aren’t you listening?” Daisy asked. I am listening, I thought, to the cacophony of my digestive tract. Of course I’d long known that I was playing host to a massive collection of parasitic organisms, but I didn’t much like being reminded of it. By cell count, humans are approximately 50 percent microbial, meaning that about half of the cells that make you up are not yours at all. There are something like a thousand times more microbes living in my particular biome than there are human beings on earth, and it often seems like I can feel them living and breeding and dying in and on me. I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans and tried to control my breathing. Admittedly, I have some anxiety problems, but I would argue it isn’t irrational to be concerned about the fact that you are a skin-encased bacterial colony.

Mychal said, “His dad was about to be arrested for bribery or something, but the night before the raid he disappeared. There’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward out for him.”

“And you know his kid,” Daisy said.

Knew him,” I answered.

I watched Daisy attack her school-provided rectangular pizza and green beans with a fork. She kept glancing up at me, her eyes widening as if to say, Well ? I could tell she wanted me to ask her about something, but I couldn’t tell what, because my stomach wouldn’t shut up, which was forcing me deep inside a worry that I’d somehow contracted a parasitic infection.

I could half hear Mychal telling Daisy about his new art project, in which he was using Photoshop to average the faces of a hundred people named Mychal, and the average of their faces would be this new, one-hundred-and-first Mychal, which was an interesting idea, and I wanted to listen, but the cafeteria was so loud, and I couldn’t stop wondering whether there was something wrong with the microbial balance of power inside me.

Excessive abdominal noise is an uncommon, but not unprecedented, presenting symptom of infection with the bacteria Clostridium difficile, which can be fatal. I pulled out my phone and searched “human microbiome” to reread Wikipedia’s introduction to the trillions of microorganisms currently inside me. I clicked over to the article about C. diff, scrolling to the part about how most C. diff infections occur in hospitals. I scrolled down farther to a list of symptoms, none of which I had, except for the excessive abdominal noises, although I knew from previous searches that the Cleveland Clinic had reported the case of one person who’d died of C. diff after presenting at the hospital with only abdominal pain and fever. I reminded myself that I didn’t have a fever, and my self replied: You don’t have a fever YET.

At the cafeteria, where a shrinking slice of my consciousness still resided, Daisy was telling Mychal that his averaging project shouldn’t be about people named Mychal but about imprisoned men who’d later been exonerated. “It’ll be easier, anyway,” she said, “because they all have mug shots taken from the same angle, and then it’s not just about names but about race and class and mass incarceration,” and Mychal was like, “You’re a genius, Daisy,” and she said, “You sound surprised,” and meanwhile I was thinking that if half the cells inside of you are not you, doesn’t that challenge the whole notion of me as a singular pronoun, let alone as the author of my fate? And I fell pretty far down that recursive wormhole until it transported me completely out of the White River High School cafeteria into some non-sensorial place only properly crazy people get to visit.

Ever since I was little, I’ve pressed my right thumbnail into the finger pad of my middle finger, and so now there’s this weird callus over my fingerprint. After so many years of doing this, I can open up a crack in the skin really easily, so I cover it up with a Band-Aid to try to prevent infection. But sometimes I get worried that there already is an infection, and so I need to drain it, and the only way to do that is to reopen the wound and press out any blood that will come. Once I start thinking about splitting the skin apart, I literally cannot not do it. I apologize for the double negative, but it’s a real double negative of a situation, a bind from which negating the negation is truly the only escape. So anyway, I started to want to feel my thumbnail biting into the skin of my finger pad, and I knew that resistance was more or less futile, so beneath the cafeteria table, I slipped the Band-Aid off my finger and dug my thumbnail into the callused skin until I felt the crack open.

“Holmesy,” Daisy said. I looked up at her. “We’re almost through lunch and you haven’t even mentioned my hair.” She shook out her hair, with so-red-they-were-pink highlights. Right. She’d dyed her hair.

I swum up out of the depths and said, “It’s bold.”

“I know, right? It says, ‘Ladies and gentlemen and also people who do not identify as ladies or gentlemen, Daisy Ramirez won’t break her promises, but she will break your heart.” Daisy’s self-proclaimed life motto was “Break Hearts, Not Promises.” She kept threatening to get it tattooed on her ankle when she turned eighteen. Daisy turned back to Mychal, and I to my thoughts. The stomach grumbling had grown, if anything, louder. I felt like I might vomit. For someone who actively dislikes bodily fluids, I throw up quite a lot.

“Holmesy, you okay?” Daisy asked. I nodded. Sometimes I wondered why she liked me, or at least tolerated me. Why any of them did. Even I found myself annoying.

I could feel sweat sprouting from my forehead, and once I begin to sweat, it’s impossible to stop. I’ll keep sweating for hours, and not just my face or my armpits. My neck sweats. My boobs sweat. My calves sweat. Maybe I did have a fever.

Beneath the table, I slid the old Band-Aid into my pocket and, without looking, pulled out a new one, unwrapped it, and then glanced down to apply it to my finger. All the while, I was breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, in the manner advised by Dr. Karen Singh, exhaling at a pace “that would make a candle flicker but not go out. Imagine that candle, Aza, flickering from your breath but still there, always there.” So I tried that, but the thought spiral kept tightening anyway. I could hear Dr. Singh saying I shouldn’t get out my phone, that I mustn’t look up the same questions over and over, but I got it out anyway, and reread the “Human Microbiota” Wikipedia article.

The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.

I sealed the Ziploc bag around the last quarter of my sandwich, got up, and tossed it into an overfilled trash can. I heard a voice from behind me. “How concerned should I be that you haven’t said more than two words in a row all day?”

“Thought spiral,” I mumbled in reply. Daisy had known me since we were six, long enough to get it.

“I figured. Sorry, man. Let’s hang out today.”

This girl Molly walked up to us, smiling, and said, “Uh, Daisy, just FYI, your Kool-Aid dye job is staining your shirt.” 

Daisy looked down at her shoulders, and indeed, her striped top had turned pink in spots. She flinched for a second, then straightened her spine. “Yeah, it’s part of the look, Molly. Stained shirts are huge in Paris right now.” She turned away from Molly and said, “Right, so we’ll go to your house and watch Star Wars: Rebels.” Daisy was really into Star Wars—and not just the movies, but also the books and the animated shows and the kids’ show where they’re all made out of Lego. Like, she wrote fan fiction about Chewbacca’s love life. “And we will improve your mood until you are able to say three or even four words in a row; sound good?”

“Sounds good.”

“And then you can take me to work. Sorry, but I need a ride.”

“Okay.” I wanted to say more, but the thoughts kept coming, unbidden and unwanted. If I’d been the author, I would’ve stopped thinking about my microbiome. I would’ve told Daisy how much I liked her idea for Mychal’s art project, and I would’ve told her that I did remember Davis Pickett, that I remembered being eleven and carrying a vague but constant fear. I would’ve told her that I remembered once at camp lying next to Davis on the edge of a dock, our legs dangling over, our backs against the rough-hewn planks of wood, staring together up at a cloudless summer sky. I would’ve told her that Davis and I never talked much, or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter, because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe more intimate than eye contact anyway. Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

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Turtles All the Way Down 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Granted, as a fan of most of John Green's writing (I haven't yet read "Looking for Alaska"), I may be biased. But as both a fan and someone who's lived with people with OCD and other anxiety disorders, this book is fantastic, and possibly his best book so far.
Book_and_recipe_Examiner More than 1 year ago
What’s it like to be trapped in your own mind, with obsessive thoughts that manifest into socially awkward behaviors you don’t know how to control? Aza Holmes, Holmesy to her best friend Daisy, is far from the legendary Sherlock who could use his obsessive nature to solve crimes. Terrified of acquiring a bacterial infection at the slightest human interaction, Aza struggles with being attentive to her best friend’s love life and Star Wars fan fiction, missing her father who passed away, or even battling against her own downward thought spirals. But the two girls decide to solve the local Case of the Fugitive Billionaire. An insanely wealthy childhood friend named Davis has a father on the run, with a $100,00 reward for his capture. Aza reconnects with the one friend who also knows the endless pain of having lost a parent, and allows him to get closer than anyone before. This novel is essential reading for every teen in America as well as any person who's ever struggled with or known anyone with a mental disorder. Painful yet hilarious, Turtles All The Way Down is one of the most brutally honest and necessary books of our time and often reflects the author’s own real struggles. For discussion questions, similar reads, and a themed recipe for Dr. Pepper Cupcakes with Cherry Almond Vanilla Frosting, visit hub pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the plot to the depiction of anxiety and cast of brilliant kids, I fell in love from beginning to end. The last half I couldn't stop crying... just too relatable and like I said, how Green writes about Aza's anxiety is so true and painted so vividly, it truly hits close to home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a story that tries to be perfect and with its characters, rich with imperfection, is perfectly told nonetheless. Offered to us with an honesty that only ever happens when telling the truth is the sole currency that has any value. Even if specific challenges aren't our own, the pain, loss, and struggle are universal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An authentic look at mental illness, John Green brings his most mature work in Turtles all the Way Down. At times the book will make you laugh, but Green masterfully intertwines the feeling of what an anxiety sufferer can feel. His (Green's) philosophy is still alive and well and Turtles is no exception, with conversations reminiscent of "Looking For Alaska". At times the book will follow you all the way down right along with the main character and deliver a sense of hopelessness and authentic fear of being in the Spiral, as John has called them. [spoilers] Turtles is a very strong voice about mental illness. And not just curing it, or treating it, or learning to live with it. It's about defining it. It's an important step in bringing the voice that mental illness won't leave. It won't 'get better' but that doesn't have to be a detriment. It's a part of the person. It's something that is you, and the book does a good job of relating the sense of personhood amongst the concept of taking medication. The book also deals with loss and death in a way harkening to "Alaska" but isn't as overt in its themes. Still, John brings a voice to the feeling and the reader isn't left unfulfilled. [/spoilers] Overall. Wonderful book. Probably John Green's best. (yet!) DFTBA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I devoured this book in one sitting. I did not want to put it down because I was sucked into this world that John Green masterfully built. He is genius with words and he was able to get me to fall in love with these characters and mourn their loss when I finished. I already miss being in Aza's head and reading her story about her struggle with anxiety, her love for her friend and mother, as well as her building relationship with Davis (whom stole my heart). Overall a great and thought provoking read. I highly recommend!
Anonymous 3 months ago
The book was ok
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
This was beautiful. And I am fully aware that at least some of my loving it was being so excited about having a new John Green book-- I'm just going to acknowledge that up front. This book is so wonderfully John Green. Fun and witty trains of thought about interesting things. Lots of random new facts and trivia to put in my head. Engaging characters. And it helps us learn about mental illness. I am so thankful for books like these. Sometimes books about mental illness can be a struggle to read because they hurt, but the point is to help us attempt to understand and empathize with that hurt. I like how Green made it clear that even Aza's best friends had a tough time with her illness. She couldn't fully explain it even to them. It hurt the people she loved-- but SHE didn't hurt the people she loved and they understood this. And Aza came to understand it. Great book. I'm definitely ordering more copies with my grants. Wonderful example for my literature class where we focus on identity and representation.
LaraS 7 months ago
If there is one thing that is completely consistent throughout the novel Turtles All the Way Down, it is that it’s very intense. John Green did not deal with the concept of mental illness lightly, and his descriptions of Aza’s struggles were realistic and unidealized. However, this highlight of the main protagonist’s internal struggles overshadowed the rest of the story, making the story outline seem hodgepodge, like excerpts taken from other young adult novels. There was a lot going on for much of the story: flashbacks to Aza and her best friend Daisy’s childhood, Aza’s first love, the mystery of a runaway billionaire, car crashes, friend troubles, and crippling anxiety. This genre overload was a lot to take in at once; in fact, it actually caused the novel to seem relatively plotless. In my opinion, the book would’ve been much improved had Green not chosen to include Aza’s boyfriend’s father’s disappearance. I have read Green’s other novels, but have never felt like he was trying so hard to be original as he did in this part of Turtles All the Way Down. The story could’ve been much simpler, yet still portrayed Green’s purpose of introducing the moral and theme that “life goes on.” Otherwise, the deep and philosophical mood of this book was quite intriguing to read when paired with the interesting development of the characters and Green’s unique writer’s voice. The topic of mental illness is presented in a way where you don’t just pity Aza, you truly feel her pain and struggles. The conversations she has internally display her internal debates in a relatable way that is easy to follow and excruciatingly suspenseful, and her ongoing obsession with C. diff and bacteria is eye-opening. Green both metaphorically and literally displays Aza’s feelings of being trapped in her own mind in numerous ways, such as a spiral that extends forever, and of course, turtles on top of one another, going forever and ever, all the way down. I enjoyed these analogies, because they gave a great deal of depth to the story, and exposed the contents of Aza’s captivating brain and thoughts. Another thing I cannot help but notice is how unrealistically Green writes the teenagers’ texts to one another. Even if these children are brilliant, it is highly unlikely that any high school students would be having such philosophical conversations via text message. This attempt at modern forms of communication doesn’t seem quite real, contrasting greatly with the harsh reality of the rest of the novel. However, the characters' personalities are very accurately portrayed through real conversation and the thoughts that run through their heads. Aza’s disgust at kissing Davis because of her fear of bacterial infection, along with her gross need to wash her mouth with hand sanitizer was hard to read but brought a feeling of struggle and intensity to the story. If I have not already made it obvious, my feelings about John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down are rather ambivalent. There were times while reading this novel where I absolutely couldn’t put the book down and others where I had to reread sentences over and over to comprehend what I was reading due to boredom. Coming in with very high expectations for my favorite author, I have to say that this book was sort of a letdown, compared to some of his other books that I positively loved. It was a good book, not great, but worth reading to receive a deeper understanding of teenage mental health issues.
nylageorge 7 months ago
Turtles All The Way Down is one of a kind. The heartbreaking, jaw dropping story of Aza Holmes, as she struggles to find herself through the craziness of her own mind, will keep you hooked on this story from the first sentence. A book so eye-opening about mental illness, it's almost questionable as to what adulterates a person's mind to make them feel so miserable. Aza's story is not a unique one, but it is surely one you will remember. When a hundred-thousand-dollar reward is being offered for the hiding place of Davis Pickett Sr., Aza's best friend Daisy is determined to find him. Aza did once know his son, Davis Jr., but hasn't talk to him in years. She met him at Sad Camp, a bonding place for teens missing a parent, (Davis losing his mom and Aza losing her dad). When Daisy finally convinces her to befriend him to help with the investigation, Aza develops a teeny crush on him. All through this Aza is wrestling with her OCD and anxiety disorders. Her particular compulsion would be the bacteria Clostridium difficile, or C. diff for short. C. diff is usually contracted if you’re a hospital patient taking administered antibiotics. Although it is very unlikely for Aza to be infected, she still works herself up over every stomach grumble she gets. This consumes her. She doesn't know how to focus, think, or sleep. And it starts taking its toll on her personal relationships. She starts feeling distant from her friends and when a new love sparks between her and Davis, she can’t kiss him because she’s too nervous because of the amount bacteria shared. Aza's still trying to discover her place in this world and definitely has to deal with the calm before the storm. This book is perfect for young adults suffering through the busyness of school and their outside lives. It is also perfect for adults to understand the battle for kids going through their teenage years or if they have a mental illness. As heart-stabbing as it is, This novel opened my eyes to this whole new world. After reading this, I now have a better understanding and a more urgent need seek help for those stuck or being controlled by their own mind. Turtles All The Way Down is a must read and one of my favorites from John Green. I recommend this book for anybody looking for a riveting story that will teach you the importance of friends, family, love, and self care.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Great book through and through.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Great book
Anonymous 9 months ago
I could not put it down.
JimRGill2012 9 months ago
For a number of reasons, Turtles All the Way Down is a confounding and difficult novel that left me feeling profoundly ambivalent. The story it tells is deceptively simple and relatively plot-less, which is quite problematic for a YA novel. Aza Holmes (note the literary allusion to Sherlock) suffers from OCD or some other kind of anxiety disorder; she lives in Indianapolis and attends the high school where her mother teaches math. Her sassy best friend is Daisy. She drives a car she’s named Harold. She’s highly self-conscious of her intense fear of contracting rare bacterial infections. She perseverates. Aza and Daisy learn that an eccentric billionaire (is there any other kind?) named Russell Pickett has disappeared before he can be apprehended for some sort of fraud. Years ago, Aza went to “sad camp” with the billionaire’s son Davis (they were both mourning the death of a parent), so Daisy convinces Aza to exploit her familiarity with Davis in an attempt to earn reward money being offered for information that will lead to Pickett’s arrest. The ensuing quasi-detective story (hence the significance of Aza’s surname) attempts to serve as a metaphor for any number of quests that Aza is on—quests for understanding, acceptance, romance, stability, wisdom, a plan for the future, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera ad infinitum. Therein lies the crux of my ambivalence—Aza’s condition is real and likely more common among adolescents than many of us imagine. Green portrays her mental disquietude in excruciating detail—its accuracy is beyond question. She is a highly sympathetic character. The plot device that Green surrounds her with—Pickett’s disappearance, Aza and Daisy’s eventual involvement with it, and Aza’s burgeoning romance with Davis—is unworthy of Aza as a character. Indeed, Aza begins her narration by wondering whether she’s fictional, and this reader wishes she were given a better narrative to relate. It’s disappointing to sympathize with a character so strongly yet simultaneously pity the pedestrian story she’s stuck inside. (Then again, perhaps that’s all part of Green’s metafictional gambit.) Fans of John Green’s work will almost certainly love this novel—it features all of the quirky yet poignant elements for which his novels are known and admired. A more objective appraisal will acknowledge the tremendous personal struggle that Green endured in simply writing this novel (he has spoken openly about his own ordeal coping with anxiety) while also conceding that Green has created a complex and wonderful character and trapped her inside a bland story.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Great novel about a girl dealing with OCD
Shawscribbles 11 months ago
How can John Green books get any better? There is no rhyme or reason to his genius. In true John Green style, this book was phenomenal. If I was still teaching my Children's Literature course, this book would definitely be on the reading list. Turtles All the Way Down gives the reader an inside view into the OCD mind of the main character, Aza. As usual, the character development in this novel is outstanding. Aza, the main character, is the focus but the supporting cast of characters including Daisy, Davis, and Aza's mum are equally wonderful. Written in first person, we are witnesses to Aza's ongoing struggles, her despair and truimph. Green incorporates so much in this little book. The struggles of living with a mental illness. Teens coping with the loss of a parent. A mother's fears of losing her daughter. And a mystery that is solved in the end. And, to top it off, Green also weaves his extreme love of both art and science into this novel. For such a short book, it truly has everything and is wrapped up in a wonderful package. Take this ride through a range of emotions that equals the power of The Fault in Our Stars. You won't be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I started this book I realised slowly why I was relating to the main character Aza. I was in a way just like her... This book is something I would recomend for anyone with some of the same problems she faces, because they can relate to her and know they aren't alone in this infint loop of worry, depression, panic, and pain.
puckspaperbacks More than 1 year ago
As an all-time fan of John Green, Turtles All the Way Down was my least favorite of his. I enjoyed the addition and focus on mental health and seeing Aza struggle with anxiety and OCD in her own way. John Green often writes novels about teenage girls and with this, I felt he could've done better. Some of the writing sounded as if Aza was older than seventeen. I could relate to Aza's anxiety. I also struggle with anxiety and her thoughts were very accurate to my own. Some were so relatable that I struggled reading them. Aza's OCD is #ownvoices since John Green himself is diagnosed with OCD. I also enjoyed seeing Aza's therapy sessions. However, from my own personal experiences with therapy, I felt that the therapist was written cliche. The plot of this novel is ambiguous. Is it about Aza rekindling with an old friend, whose father goes missing and there is a 100K reward? or Aza struggling with mental health while in high school? It's a cluster of different storylines. Often, I was confused when reading because the overall plot was unorganized and I was bored. The last 100 pages really made the book feel alive and then I was enjoying it. Like any John Green, there has to be a weird element to the story and for this was the tuatara. That really put me off from the story because it was so bizarre. The romance I could've been without. I felt that the relationship between Davis and Aza was very forced and felt more platonic than romantic. It was very awkward to read at times. They didn't have many interactions as many written romances have. I did like Davis' character, he was interesting and I loved learning about astronomy. Daisy, Aza's best friend was my least favorite character. She didn't treat Aza like a friend and she was always complaining about her. There is also a scene where she blames Aza for her mental health and saying she is too worried all the time. This infuriated me since I have been in this situation with a friend before. I like how their friendship does patch up in the end. Overall, this was a great mental health book and I just had some issues with it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I honestly realky like the and if u have not read it yet then go buy the book and read it
thebookishlibra More than 1 year ago
While not my favorite John Green book, Turtles All the Way Down was still a moving read for me. I loved the main character Aza, who is smart, funny, and sometimes extremely quiet. She’s quiet because she is living with OCD, which often occupies her thoughts and keeps her locked inside of her own head. John Green does an incredible job of showing what OCD is like from inside the mind of someone who is actually experiencing it. It’s raw and honest and sometimes quite painful to read. If you think you know what OCD is like from either something you’ve read or maybe from someone you’ve watched going through it, you only know part of it. Seeing from Aza’s perspective that ever-tightening spiral that kept her locked inside of her own mind was so enlightening. Turtles All the Way Down is also an #ownvoices novel, so many thanks to John Green for sharing his own experiences with us. In addition to the way it provides a greater understanding of OCD, I also liked the book’s focus on friendship. While I wasn’t big on the part of the story where Aza and her best friend, Daisy, decide they want to play amateur detective and investigate the father of Aza’s friend, Davis, I was very big on their friendship. Aza and Daisy have a wonderful relationship that is built on honesty, even if that honesty is sometimes a little brutal. I liked the idea that Aza ultimately knew she had someone in her corner no matter how tough things got. What else? Oh, a really sweet romance develops between Aza and Davis. I liked Davis a lot and thought he and Aza had wonderful chemistry. More importantly, I didn’t feel like their romance took away anything from the rest of the story and I liked that romance was not a cure for OCD. The only thing I really didn’t like was a distracting and seemingly random subplot about an ancient lizard called a tuatara that Davis’ father kept as a pet. Maybe there was a deeper meaning there that I missed, but for me, the lizard was just in the way. Still a moving and entertaining read overall. 3.5 STARS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Literally, my new favorite book! John Green has done it again!
shadowtearling More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. If you look at my physical copy, you would see orange tabs popping up everywhere. At some point I even ran out of post-its and had to get a new set (TWICE). Aza's & my experiences with mental illness are wildly different, but I related so much to her anyway. I love that the "love interest" (if you could call him that) wasn't the reason for either Aza getting worse or better. I love that there's no false promise of Aza being cured. Overall, I just really love all the conversations surrounding mental illness (especially between Aza & her mom / Aza & Daisy / Aza & Aza). It also talks about grief in two greatly different ways (which got to me). (view spoiler) I also just really loved how even though this book deals with such a heavy topic, I felt light while reading it. That's weird to say but for books like this, usually I feel heavy and bogged down. But with this one, I felt okay and didn't have that weight on me. This is a book I'll be holding close to my heart. Lastly, I want to mention what I believe this book did and that is a portrayal of the life of someone dealing with OCD (and to some extent other mental illnesses). What I mean by this is that I don't think this is a book that wants to tackle mental health stigmas in the way a lot of other books do; it doesn't want to preach about what's good and what's bad (behaviors, coping mechanisms, relationships, etc.); it doesn't tell you what you should or shouldn't do or why. It just wants to be. So while I had my problems, ultimately, this book is a sort of slice of life for Aza, and there's not really a moral to be had at the end of it. I'm fine with that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago