Title: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin Random House LLC
Publication Date: 2017
Page Count: 286
Age Recommendation: 13
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. ~ Goodreads
This was absolutely nothing like I expected but I enjoyed it none the less. I was expecting beaches! Cute animals! Sunglasses! Car rides in convertable cars! Instead I got an entire book that felt the same way as a muddy shade of blue. Not ugly, but not quite satisfiying. And that was totally ok!
HOLY CRAP this book made me cry. This is definitely my favorite John Green book. Everything about this was so real, especially the ending. I loved the ending. It was bittersweet, it wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t pretentious, and it was so so real. This entire book was so real to me. I personally don’t have OCD but I have done (a little) research on it and I do struggle with general anxiety disorder. This book does not romanticize OCD at all. It shows the struggle, the pain, and the ‘thought spiral’. I really, really appreciate that. John Green shows us Aza’s struggle so well that I actually had to put the book down towards the middle because Aza was so stuck in her head it made me a little anxious.
For a while, I was worried that this was falling into the typical John Green romance novel. The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns had completely different stories but they both felt very similar to me. This book did start to feel the same way as the other too, but towards the end it differentiates itself from the others. For the first time the character finds solace within themselves and that is so empowering and wonderful to me.
This is one of those books that hooks you in. The whole book sort of had a dusky diner kind of feel. Even though crazy things were happening all around Aza, everything felt muted because she couldn’t seem to really focus on anything except for what her OCD told her to. She really goes on a journey of self discovering and friendship and growing up. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
I loved Aza and her best friend, Daisy’s friendship is so relevant and strong in this novel too. We don’t usually see female friendships that last in books and it’s refreshing to see a true, imperfect friendship in a YA novel.
The ending was absolutely amazing and was what brought me to tears. It was so well written and powerful and UGH I loved it so much.
I honestly have no critisism for this book because the last two chapters just blew me away. I had been previously turned off to John Green but now I look forward to his next work!
You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.
My father died suddenly, but also across the years. He was still dying, really–which meant I guess that he was still living, too.
I want to be buried next to you. We’ll have a shared tombstone. It’ll read, ‘Holmesy and Daisy: They did everything together, except the nasty.’
What Does the Cat Think?