Turtles All the Way Down is the latest installment in a series of amazing work by YA writer, podcaster, and blogger John Green.
I wanted this book from the second I knew it existed. I have read every book John Green has published. Plus, it’s been all over Bookstagram. And the cover is great. And turtles are great. Testament to how badly I wanted to read this book: I bought it in hardcover. Paperback Patronus is having an identity crisis, all over John Green.
First, here’s the synopsis of the book, pulled from Amazon:
“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.”
Finally, here’s my review of Turtles All the Way Down!
I’ve already talked up John Green a lot in this post. Turtles has only solidified my opinion of his work.
My favourite part of this novel overall is that it has a female protagonist with an anxiety disorder. Even better, this portrayal feels very realistic. It doesn’t gloss over the extremely difficult, uncomfortable, and terrifying aspects of having an illness like Aza does. She also uses several metaphors and experiences throughout the novel to help her friends understand how she feels. I imagine that this would be incredibly helpful for readers who do not have mental illnesses. Honest and realistic portrayals of mental illness in relatable characters are SO important. For people with and without mental illness.
The other thing I really love about Turtles is its use of simile and metaphor. The characters have so many thematic discussions about life. John Green’s work always tends to have such great unifying themes that are used in his work at both the macro and micro level. The book’s overall theme relates to the metaphors and similes the characters use to describe their personal, more micro-level struggles.
Other Great Stuff
In this book, characters grapple with mental illness, identity, friendship, family, and love, all through the most beautiful language imaginable. The discussions Aza and Davis have about the stars and the way Aza talks about her mental illness in terms of a spiral are stunning pieces of imagery. They make the book feel both artful and meticulously planned. The characters are relatable, complex, and different. Their interactions are believable and complicated. An added bonus is what I find to be a pretty realistic depiction of a client-therapist relationship.
This is a novel that is not to be missed. It is a masterfully elegant and poetic read that will keep you glued until the end.
As a self-proclaimed ending-elitist, this one takes the cake. One of my favourite book endings in recent memory.
Overall, 5/5 stars. Highly recommend, to readers of all ages!
Happy reading. Turtles All the Way Down would definitely a great choice for a Christmas gift to anyone you know!
– Paperback Patronus