Turtles All the Way Down.

Title: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Published: October 10th, 2017

Pages: 304

Genre: Young Adult Novel & Realistic Fiction

Publisher: Dutton Books

Checked out on OverDrive- Audio Book


Goodreads 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.



Trapped in your own mind with no way out, all you can see is black, you have your own desires but can’t fulfill them. There is something or someone else in your mind, planting a seed of doubt each thought waters it and it continues to grow and fester, finally filling every space in your mind. Your mind is full, you are never alone. That was my interpretation of living with OCD according to Aza. I am a huge fan of Realistic Fiction; I think it highlights the hard to talk about subjects in society. John Greene did a wonderful job portraying the reality of mental illness and opened it up for conversation. It was one of the strong points of this book. John was able to captivate the audience with the in-depth pain that Aza suffered and this is my guess as to why the book has been rated so highly.

Things I enjoyed about this book: 

Aza was a character who came to life for me. When she appeared trapped, I felt trapped with her. I was able to empathize with her every step of the way. I enjoyed her friendship with Daisy and how it reflected the effects that mental illness have on those around us. I thought she gave a clear picture of the highs and lows of someone who constantly interacts with someone with mental illness. My love for Daisy grew towards the end when you learn more about the depth of their relationship and her desire be there for Aza no matter what.

I’ve only read a few John Green books, but continuing with his common theme, there was a romantic relationship. Davis was a strong character, he had to be to survive what he was going through and to be the support his brother needed. I admired his patience with Aza and did get the overall sense he cared for her.

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy: 

The whole plot line was odd and to me seemed unbelievable. It could have been a stronger book without the missing billionaire plot line attached because the character development was well done, everything else diminished the storyline for me.

The author also stayed true to his self by making the protagonist a female who needed help in some way, and to no avail a charming young man came to the rescue, well for the most part. I wanted to see her succeed on her own, and maybe that’s what happened in the end and I was just too caught up on the center focus of his portrayal of Aza.

The climax of this book just didn’t feel like a climax, without spoiling it, I felt like most of the novel was even toned with a few speed bumps here and there. Never did I find myself gasping for breath with a shocking turn of events. Which for some readers is a great thing, but for Gillian Flynn junkies like myself, it was a little slow.





I would give John Green’s newest novel a 3 out of 5 bird feathers. While I am grateful for his portrayal of mental illness I felt the plot line fell flat. I wanted more from the story. I would love to hear your thoughts on this story, especially if they differ from mine!


Parent’s Guide:

This book did contain foul language but was not a consistent theme and there was occasional talk about sex. I would let my teen read it, but would want to either discuss throughout or at the end to make sure the teen knew where to turn if they or a friend needed help dealing with a mental illness.

If you are having mental health problems and need help please call (1‑877‑726‑4727) or go to http://www.mentalhealth.gov. Don’t be ashamed about what you are going through. It is real and it isn’t easy.










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