Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green

John Green novels are so different. They’re small but also huge, quiet and also wildly creative. Each one has the most perfectly flawed characters, studied deeply but delicately.

turtle1Aza is a normal high-schooler, with extreme anxiety. The kind that spirals – thoughts tapping at the edges of her normalcy, pecking their way in, then wrapping tighter, tighter, and dragging her down. She and her best friend Daisy get caught up in a crazy scheme: to find the missing town billionaire, who disappeared on the eve of his arrest for bad business. Said rich guy also happens to be the father of Davis, a kid Aza knew when she was little. When their paths cross again, sparks of the most awkward and intellectual kind fly. John Green’s specialty.

My favorite things about this book are closely related. One: I felt Aza’s anxiety. It talks to her, and she talks back, often saying what I, as the reader, wanted to say. She knows she’s “crazy”, and that she can’t stop it. Her coping mechanisms are impressive but not foolproof. At times, it’s very frustrating to read. Imagine how it must be to live.

turtle2My second favorite thing is that Daisy struggles with Aza’s anxiety too. Aza is so caught up in her own head, and it takes a toll on their friendship, that Aza is so caught up in her own head. It’s strange to love the part where the main characters fight, but it, more than anything else, made this book feel ripped open and honest.

John Green is the John Hughes of our time, and books get that much deeper into the stories.

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