Title: Turtles all the way down
Author: John Green
Genre: YA contemporary
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.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
I think we can decide by now, at least, that John Green writes to MAKE US WEEP.
Why I love John Green books:
- The writing style is so unique and just sucks me in
- I honestly don’t think about anything else while reading his books
- The plots are always new and different and I love them
- I become the characters and—
- I just love his writing style, okay?
So I knew that I would love Turtles all the way down going in.
What the book is about
- Aza and her best friend Daisy trying to locate billionare Russell Picket who went missing, or rather escaped, one night. There’s a huge reward in return for useful information and being in the lower middle class of the financial hierarchy, Daisy is very motivated to get that reward. Aza is just strung along.
- Oh and guess what? David, Picket’s son, and Aza used to be friends. Aza also has a crush on him. (I immediately started rooting for these two just cuz)
- Aza’s OCD is given a VERY BIG highlight. I’ve only read one other book* in which the MC had OCD and I am still FLOORED by the thought spiral they go through. Every time Aza’s brain overtook everything else with thoughts about infection, microbes and sanitary conditions, she just DROWNED IN IT.
- But this is not a story where the guy and girl get together and the girl gets cured. NO. That isn’t realistic. Aza has her own healing process going on and she’s just trying to get through one day at a time. Some days she has relapses, starts going to therapy more often but IT’S OKAY. The mental health was just so raw and honest.
*Am I normal yet by Holly Bourne
My thoughts on the book
- I liked that Aza’s mother tried to help her and tried to be there. But as it’s shown, an outsider can’t really determine what is best for the person because they don’t KNOW what it’s like.
- Honestly, in the beginning I wasn’t THAT into it but it didn’t take too long for me to fall in. I think it just took me a while to adjust to Aza’s mind.
- As I said, I loved the mental health highlight. The book wasn’t “romance” or “mystery”, it was about Aza and only her. I felt so refreshed to read a book whose plot revolves mainly around a character and not his/her relationships.
- I really liked getting to know Davis and Noah! Davis is such a good brother and I felt so bad for him and Noah that they got a bad father. I just REALLY liked Davis as a character. All he wanted was a good life for his brother and him, for their father to stay away instead of causing more trouble, and to simply be allowed to be happy.
- Although I started shipping Aza and Davis in the beginning, I was VERY confused on my feelings about them together. I kept volleying between be together already! and just be friends.
- I have mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand, I’m glad the way it went for Aza but on the other, I really wanted something more. I can’t say what because of spoilers, but I wasn’t satisfied by that.
- I also quite hate Daisy. In the beginning I was on her side because she was there for Aza and seemed to understand her. But later in the book when some things come up and Daisy says some things, I was taken aback. Their relationship was one of the reasons I had mixed feelings about the ending.
- I LOVE THE MEANING OF THE TITLE. I admit, I was really intrigued as to the meaning of the title, but when I got to know the significance, I. WAS. FLOORED.
I really liked the book, especially because of the raw and honest mental health representation. I DEFINITELY suggest reading this book if you haven’t. I DID expect it to be a five starrer, but a few things held me back (which I will talk about in the discussion section below).
If you don’t want spoilers, do not continue reading.
The three things which held me back from giving the book 5 stars:
- Davis never making an appearance later?? I was quite unsatisfied with the ending. I really would have liked SOME insight into how he and Noah ended up. Were they happy? Were they just making do? What happened to them?
- Daisy sayING THOSE THINGS TO AZA. Honestly, I felt so bad when Daisy accused Aza of thinking only about herself. I understand where Daisy was coming from, sort of, but I hate that she showed a supportive face and made Aza the villian in her fanfiction. Their relationship mended and stayed but I kind of wish it didn’t. Horrible of me, but the IMPACT Daisy had on Aza was too much. Aza basically b r o k e down, and Daisy was forgiven so easily. I.. did not get that.
- I was really uncomfortable when Davis paid Aza? Was I the only one who didn’t like that part? I don’t really see the point of that except to show Daisy spending the cash? I thought we’d at least get Aza thinking about returning the money but she didn’t, and then she and Davis dated??? And NEITHER of them felt weird? This was what made me really confused about them being together. I just couldn’t get past that.
What did you think about these things? What are your thoughts on the book? Let me know if you felt weird about Davis paying Aza because I don’t see it talked about in any review and I’m confused.