Book Review, Young Adult

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

“Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green

Description: 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.”

Review: Before starting this book I tried to gear myself up for a let down because I was unsure how anything could be better than “The Fault in Our Stars.” While I wasn’t completely let down I don’t think this is John Green’s best work. This book is a classic John Green novel where teenagers are overly aware of themselves and sit around contemplating life.

I found Aza to be an interesting but frustrating character. Her spiraling thoughts are relatable (but often on a lesser level). What I didn’t like was how her mother’s concern never went past asking her daughter if she was ok. Aza drinks hand sanitizer in a hospital and never ends up in the psychic ward for her mental illness. I kept waiting for someone to realize the severity of Aza’s mental illness and to give her actual help besides seeing a therapist.

I did enjoy the relationship Aza has with Davis. Often in YA books you find 2 teens with issues, they fall in love and that love fixes everything, that is not the case in this book. I liked the realistic portrayal that Davis cannot fix Aza’s anxiety and that she cannot fix his loneliness and lack of a fatherly figure. Their love does not conquer all, they chose to be alone to take care of themselves (an important lesson).

One thing I wasn’t a big fan of was the missing billionarie subplot. I felt it didn’t add much to the story (except in regards to Noah) and at times took away from the story. While this isn’t my favorite John Green novel, many will find it enjoyable!

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