Title – Turtles All The Way Down
Author – John Green
Publisher – Dutton
Pages- 286 (hardcover)
Published –October 10th 2017
21 October 2017
“No, it’s not, Holmesy. You pick your endings, and your beginnings. You get to pick the frame, you know? Maybe you don’t choose what’s in the picture, but you decide the frame.”
Turtles all the way down has everything a good John Green book needs. A small but fun cast, an odd premise, and a plot that plays second fiddle to the real goal of character building and some tear jerking revelations.
Green has tackled illness in the past, specifically his most famous work The Fault in Our Stars, and there are definitely similarities that can be drawn between this and Turtles, but from a narrative perspective, Aza’s mental illness hit me a lot harder than Hazel’s physical one. Because we are reading directly from Aza’s first person perspective, we have no escape from her thoughts. The part of this that hit me the hardest is when her illness splits from her, and becomes its own narrator. I was in serious tears as I read Aza fighting with her OCD, begging it to let her go.
There’s a really refreshing honesty here too, both with John’s experience struggling with OCD and with his presentation of what it feels like to struggle with friendships in high school.
Another gem: Aza’s relationship with Daisy. It feels so fluid and real, they fight quite a bit at the beginning, squabbling over little things, but we can feel that something is bubbling under the surface, that is finally revealed in a turbulent car ride. When Daisy finally breaks and tells Aza how she really feels, how tired she is of dealing with her shit and how selfish she thinks Aza is being, I was truly shocked. It takes a real leap of faith for an author to do this, especially because it made me question my behaviour and how I’m perceived by friends.
The plot line is interesting, but what you’ll read about on the back cover isn’t what the book is really about. When this plot line does come to a sudden unexpected revelation near the end of the book, I was surprised as I had expected that it would never truly be concluded.
I have so many more feelings about this book, but to be honest I am struggling to put them into words! All I’ll say is that the themes in Turtles are very personal to me, and I am glad that someone has put them into words in a way that feels genuine and uncompromising. If you haven’t yet picked up Turtles All The Way down, do it! Even if you never read TFIOS, I promise you, this one is ten times better anyway.
Please let me know ho you felt about this book, I love hearing all your thoughts and opinions!
Buy on Amazon:
Turtles All the Way Down
p.s. Sorry this is late! Turtles was just so important to me that I have been struggling to write a review!