Book- Turtles All The Way Down
Author- John Green
Publisher- Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication Date- October 10th, 2017
Woahhh. This book blew me away. I thought it would be really hard for John Green to live up to The Fault in Our Stars, but Turtles All the Way Down has officially replaced TFIOS as my favourite John Green book. This was such an impressive read! There were sooooo many things I loved about this book ahhhhhh!!
Aza Ray. A normal 16 year old girl, living the everyday teen life. Except that Aza suffers from severe anxiety, and is constantly caught in thought spirals that threaten to pull her into a void every day. But there’s a sudden flip in Aza’s life when she and her best friend Daisy decide to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett for the reward of a hundred thousand dollars. The case seems impossible, but Aza does have one connection who could lead her to solve the mystery. Old friend, and old crush of Aza- Davis Pickett is the son of the runaway billionaire, and could lead Aza and Daisy to solving the mystery. But will Aza find herself falling for Davis again? And will her anxiety let anything develop between the two, or will her thought spirals put an end to their romance even before it starts?
What I Liked:
AHH I liked sooo much of this book!!! But first, I want to talk about how so many people have a problem with the title and the lack of turtles?? I mean, guys, have you read anything by John Green? It’s a metaphor. And I think it’s PERFECT that the title is a metaphor, cuz this is John Friggin Green we’re talking about. Everything with this guy is a metaphor, and I LOVE that.
Or more appropriately in John Green style:
Let’s start with talking about the plot. I really liked the whole fugitive billionaire thing! The book literally started off with talking about the missing billionaire, which made it instantly interesting, cuz really, how many runaway billionaires do you read about? The book straight up started up on a high, and maintained that right through. The plot was slow, but still kept me hooked throughout. And it feels real y’know? It was believable, and not over the top with unbelievable plot twists or anything, it was true and simple. But it was also really deep, and some of the metaphors were like WOAH DAMN, and I loved them so much.
Okay so even though there is a plotline and stuff, and it’s pretty darned good, I think the main focus of this book was Aza. And THANK GOD it was! I love Aza. She’s quiet, locked in her own head, extremely smart,(which John Green character isn’t smart tho), witty, she’s really pretentious and is constantly spewing beautiful metaphors, and is just so amazing! Omg she’s so funny. Like there were parts in the book when I had to sit down and just laugh for ten minutes straight, cuz her humor is so dry and perfect and just the way I like it. Her anxiety is so severe, and so heart breaking to read about. Though Green didn’t mention OCD in the book, she very clearly had the most brutal sort of OCD. Every day was a fight for her, and some days she’d win, some days she’d lose, but what mattered the most was that she never ever gave up. Stay strong honey.
Davis was such an adorable teddy bear. My favourite thing in this book was that Davis wasn’t described as particularly hot or attractive. I feel most authors only write about incredibly hot boys, and now all boys in books are just so sexualised. That puts so much unrealistic pressure and makes guys really insecure about themselves. I loved that Davis was, as it’s put in the book- “in the vast boy middle.” You don’t need to have six packs, and a defined jawline, and blue eyes to make a girl like you, even though it seems like it. Just be kind, sweet, and caring, that’s more than enough. What’s the point of being hot if you’re gonna be a jerk? Davis was also super metaphory and smart (cuz duh) and I like that a lot you know? Even though most of us teens aren’t that pretentious and deep and thoughtful, it’s always refreshing to read about such intelligent and wise beyond their years characters.
Onto Daisy. As Aza’s best friend, I really liked her at the beginning of the book. She was funny, and supportive and all that and I loved them as best friends. But SPOILER after everything Daisy said about Aza and how being friends with her is “exhausting” and what not- that was all so cruel and horrible, and I wish Aza hadn’t forgiven Daisy that easily. I’m not one to hold grudges, but Daisy shouldn’t have gotten away with all that shit that easy. Because everything she said underlines that being friends with a mentally ill person is exhausting and is too much work, and those who do it should be blessed by god for taking on such an impossible and hard task. And that’s absolutely horrible, and I wanted Daisy to realise this better before Aza just forgave her. SPOILER OVER.
The anxiety and OCD in the book was brutal. Like it was physically painful to read about it at some parts, and I just wanted to reach through the book and give Aza a hug. And it was so realistic, because anxiety isn’t something you just suddenly recover from. Aza has it, she will have it for her entire life, it will be a struggle everyday, and it doesn’t ease up or just disappear through the book. That’s what makes it painful- how true it is- because Aza wont “get better.” And that’s okay, because she’s still a lovely and beautiful person who deserves all the love.
The romance was really cute. Like omg so cute. Davis and Aza were perfect- two deep, metaphory people who understand each other better than anybody else. Another bonus point for being realistic. Another bonus point for not being overly sappy. Another bonus point for not pushing each other for things the other person is not comfortable with. Basically it gets all the bonus points.
And the ending. Oh WOW. Green just knows how to hit exactly the right heartstrings. The ending wasn’t cliche, it wasn’t cheesy, it wasn’t unrealistically sad or heartbreaking, but it showed one concept very beautifully- moving on. Going on with life, and knowing that no matter how hard life is, you’ll be living it differently in few years, and so to keep hope and just keep moving on. It was such a simplistic ending that I cried. (I’m such a sap, I cry at everything)
I usually don’t give any quotes from books in my post cuz I want everyone to have an undiluted reading experience, but all of these quotes/metaphors are so beautiful I just have to bless my blog my putting them here.
-“We never really 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 even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
-“Your now is not your forever.”
-“True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”
-“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”
-“What I love about science is that as you learn, you don’t really get answers. You just get better questions.”
-“There’s no self to hate. It’s like, when I look into myself, there’s no actual me—just a bunch of thoughts and behaviours and circumstances. And a lot of them just don’t feel like they’re mine. They’re not things I want to think or do or whatever. And when I do look for the, like, Real Me, I never find it. It’s like those nesting dolls, you know? The ones that are hollow, and then when you open them up, there’s a smaller doll inside, and you keep opening hollow dolls until eventually you get to the smallest one, and it’s solid all the way through. But with me, I don’t think there is one that is solid. They just keep getting smaller.”
-“Break hearts, not promises.”
-“The whole problem with boys is that ninety-nine percent of them are, like, okay. If you could dress and hygiene them properly, and make them stand up straight and listen to you and not be dumbasses, they’d be totally acceptable.”
There are about a billion more, but I don’t want to entirely reveal the untarnished beauty of this book in my review. But please go read this book. Trust me, its totally totally worth it.
What I didn’t like:
Nothing to read here.
5 on 5 stars. In classic John Green style, a timeless and beautiful and touching book that should be read by literally everyone.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Let’s chat!
Thanks for reading guys!