2017 · 2018 · December · Reviews

Book Review: “Turtles All the Way Down”, by John Green

Published in 2017 by Penguin | Four feathers

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


Turtles All the Way Down has been everywhere this past autumn and winter. Since I’ve read and enjoyed all of John Green’s other books in the past, I figured that I’d pick this one up as well and give it a go. And I liked it. In a sense, it is a very typical John Green book, both in terms of the writing style and the characters. The thing is, I know a lot of people who don’t like his books because of the overly intelligent teenagers, but I don’t mind that. Teenagers aren’t stupid, and he doesn’t dumb them down, which I like.

When it comes to Turtles, it had a very good representation of OCD. As someone who lives with the same type of mental illness, it was cool reading about someone on the same level of crazy as me ^.^. However, we are put into Aza’s head and we’re not let out when she gets stuck in one of her thought spirals, which means that we go into those spirals with her. That is what docked a star on the rating for me, because though the representation is good, it was also slightly difficult to read. The portrayal of the thought spirals were almost too good, if that makes sense. I guess it should be mentioned as well that the summary is not entirely representative of the plot. The book is about finding the billionaire, but it’s more about Aza’s OCD.

Also, I was not expecting that ending! I don’t know what I was expecting, and it makes sense in retrospect, but I didn’t fully see it coming.

To wrap things up a little, I would recommend this if you like John Green’s books or generally like the sound of this one in particular and would like to read a book with a good representation of mental health issues.


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