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Book Review: John Green's 'Turtles All the Way Down' falls short

Many die-hard fans of John Green have been waiting five years for him to come out with his next best-selling novel. After reading other award-winning publications of his like, Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, there was major hype that Turtles All the Way Down was going to be just as amazing. However, it was a let down.

To be brief, Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion and Star Wars fan fiction. A 16-year-old girl named Aza and her best friend Daisy pursue the whereabouts of a fugitive billionaire in hopes of receiving a £100,000 reward. In Aza and Daisy’s search for Russell Ricket, the fugitive billionaire, Aza becomes reacquainted with his son Davis.

There’s a lot of focus on Aza’s obsessive compulsive disorder and how she deals with it while also trying to live the normal life of a teenage girl. Her story is partly inspired by some of Green’s own experiences. “This is my first attempt to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected my life since childhood, so while the story is fictional, it is also quite personal,”
Green told the Penguin House Company
[1].

Green’s depiction of how Aza copes with her mental illness is one of intriguing interest. Aza has a constant battle inside her own head about what she should and shouldn’t do, but does anyway. It gives readers an insight on what kind of a mental illness obsessive compulsive disorder is while also sympathizing for Aza herself.

Throughout the entire story, Aza is trying her hardest to be a good daughter, friend, student and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. Unlike Green’s most popular novel, The Fault in Our Stars, the reader is not constantly glued to the pages of Turtles All the Way Down. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of climax. It’s like you’re waiting for the part where you ball your eyes out because Green just broke your heart and everything you thought you knew, but it just never comes.

Unfortunately, the anticipation for Turtles All the Way Down was an overestimation. It’s not until the end that everything seems to come together. The final chapter of Turtles All the Way Down reminds readers that Green is still capable of bringing anyone to tears with only a few short metaphors.

Despite the mild disappointment that Turtles All the Way Down has brought to readers, it is still a novel any Green fanatic would find worth reading and would appreciate nevertheless. Rating: 3/5 @BayleeDeMuth[2]

bd575016@ohio.edu[3]

References

  1. ^ Green told the Penguin House Company (www.penguin.co.uk)
  2. ^ @BayleeDeMuth (twitter.com)
  3. ^ bd575016@ohio.edu (www.thepostathens.com)

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