Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down

“… no one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”


Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Rating: 4/5

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.


Warning: This review is full of spoilers.

A lot of people are confused whether they liked this book or expected just a bit more. I have to admit, I was in a similar place. But I will tell you why I rated it with 4 stars.

First of all, we have to talk about Aza and her mental illness. Not only was she a different character, but also one that was extremely difficult to describe. When she was going deep down into her spirals, her anxiety and becoming overwhelmed with the littlest of things, I wasn’t annoyed. I actually understood her character. And that was only because John Green wrote her really well. I was not a big fan of the car accident because it provided a climax to the story, just like it does for every other story. But the event was heartbreaking because at one point, you actually get to see how helpless she becomes when she is forced by her ‘self’ to drink the hand sanitizer.

Then you have Daisy, a true friend who vented out her frustration of dealing with Aza in a Star Wars fan fiction. She knew about Aza’s mental illness but she found herself getting tired and annoyed sometimes. It made her character feel more human and it made me sympathize with both of the friends.

Davis was a character that I liked, but found too good to be true. After reading the book, I found the entire plot with Russell Pickett to be a bit … unattached to the story. It was the only thing that started and ended the main events of the book. Other than that, nothing that happened to him seemed interesting to me.

Once again, I think that this book gives us a very clear idea of how serious mental illness is. I believe that Green did justice to it by elaborating on it repeatedly. I also liked the ending because it allowed us to imagine what to expect for Aza without really saying it.

Turtles All The Way Down is a book that takes a serious issue and combines it with love and friendship in a perfect balance. John Green wrote Aza with such dedication that you can’t help but hope that she makes it through her spirals.

What did you think of the book? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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