*This is a book review of Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.
For a synopsis of the book, click this link: Turtles All the Way Down
This is my first time doing a book review of a book that doesn’t consist of mostly pictures, so bare with me. I don’t know how to write a proper book review, but I don’t think there’s a such thing as a “proper book review.” I could be very wrong.
Anyway, the way I will go about writing my book reviews is highlighting everything I loved about the book or I related to the most while also giving my overall opinion of the book. Needless to say, there will definitely be spoilers, and if you haven’t read Turtles All the Way Down but are planning on it and don’t want any spoilers (that was a lot of conjunctions), then I definitely DO NOT recommend reading this book review. You have been warned.
Page count: 304
Genre: Young adult fiction (according to Google)
This is John Green’s fifth solo novel, and it was highly anticipated. Many people told me it was his best one yet, so I decided to check it out. After reading it, I definitely agree with them; this book is one of his best works.
Before we get into it, in case you haven’t read or watched other reviews, I want to let you know that the book is a lot deeper than the synopsis.
Reading this book made me take a step back and look at the state of my mental health, which is kind of why it took me so long to write a review of the book considering I finished reading it a month ago. Even though I have not been diagnosed with OCD and anxiety disorder like Aza, I still found several elements of myself in her. Honestly, since reading this book, I’ve been hardcore thinking about if I should see a legitimate doctor about my intense anxiety; I went to the counselors on my college campus, but they could only do what they were permitted to do as college counselors. While I was reading the book, there were many moments when it felt like I was reading about myself.
This is where the spoilers come into play. If you didn’t heed to my first warning, I would recommend you stop reading now.
This is where I related to Aza/Holmesy the most. I have not been diagnosed for having any kind of mental illness, but I can tell you for a fact I have horrible anxiety; it’s definitely a burden. Trying to hide it from everyone makes it more burdensome.
Aza has thought spirals, and I do too. Again, it’s really nice reading about someone I can relate to– a character I can share something with it. There are several quotes from Turtles All the Way Down (all of them from Aza) that literally describe me and my mental health:
- “It felt like I was watching the whole thing from somewhere else, like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it.” (page 97)
- This is a feeling I constantly have. Sometimes I’ll be having one of the best days ever; then this feeling will hit, and I start to freak out and don’t know what to do with myself. My day is ruined.
- This isn’t exactly a quote, but on page 154, Aza talked about her crazy being an irritation and no longer a quirk, which is another feeling I always have. The deeper I get into friendships, the more and more I think about this. I am constantly anticipating the day someone snaps on me because they find my crazy an irritation. I’m waiting on it.
- “Maybe if I could just say and do whatever normal people say and do, then he would believe me to be one, or maybe that I could even become one.” (page 180)
- This is another thought I constantly have. When I enter my thought spirals, this is usually the thought that occurs before I travel deeper into the tightening thought spiral.
- “I now saw myself as Daisy saw me– clueless, helpless, useless. Less.” (page 196)
- When it comes to this thought, I have gotten a lot better at not seeing myself as “less,” but I’m still working on it; it’s hard.
- “‘I’m sorry it’s not fun hanging out with me because I’m stuck in my head so much, but imagine being actually stuck in my head with no way out, with no way to ever break from it, because that’s my life.'” (page 217)
- That’s my life too. Whenever I get stuck in my head, it’s so freaking hard finding a way out.
Even though it is not the main focus of the book (in my opinion), there is romance present between Aza and Davis (the guy mentioned in the synopsis). Honestly, I really appreciated romance not being the main focus of this book; however, there were still moments that melted my heart. Like, when Davis says Aza is too good to be true (page 108) and when he says he likes her body even though she doesn’t (pages 161-162).
There was one quote regarding love that really got me and made me think: “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.” (page 285). Though I’ve never been in a romantic relationship, I have had a first love, and I will say that this quote is 100% correct.
I’m not going to go into too much depth about this because I think it would give away a good portion of the book, and I don’t want to spoil too much of it. I just want to point out that Aza’s last name is Holmes (which is where Daisy’s (Aza’s best friend) nickname Holmesy comes from), and she investigates a mystery. Sherlock Holmes is a private detective who also solves mysteries. They both have the same last name. Is this a coincidence? Or is this the genius mind of John Green?
Do I recommend reading this book? Absolutely. Like, right now. Get a copy as soon as possible and read it. I borrowed my friend’s copy and am currently in the works of buying my own (once that first paycheck hits). Turtles All the Way Down is 304 pages of pure amazingness; I would love to see Aza come to life on the big screen. I need it.
Q: If you’ve read a John Green book, which one is your favorite?
Check out A Clockwork Reader’s review of Turtles All the Way Down:
Next Up: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park