Book Review: “Turtles All the Way Down”

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John Green’s new book Turtles All the Way Down, released on Oct. 10, exceeded my expectations as it got better with every page.

The story follows Aza, a 16-year-old girl with anxiety, as she battles her anxious thoughts while trying to solve a mystery of her childhood friend’s missing billionaire father and trying to balance her friendship and relationship as her anxiety tries to stand in the way.

I went into this book totally blind, I had not read anything about it. The only thing I knew was it was written by John Green. I loved Green’s books, such as Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, so I didn’t doubt it would be great, but I was a bit scared not knowing what it was about and if it could ever live up to Green’s previous novels that have become some of my favorites.

I was pleasantly surprised.

Throughout the story, Aza shares her “spiral” thoughts giving the audience a small view into what people with mental disabilities deal with everyday. Her insight shows the battle between her true thoughts and the thoughts made up by her anxiety as it gets harder and harder to battle it. As mentioned in the acknowledgement, the novel reflects Green’s personal experiences and therefore makes the story more meaningful, depthful and real.

With every page, I was more excited for the next and overflowed with excitement, joy and even a few tears. The story envelops the perfect blend of coming of age, romance and the obstacles of dealing with grief and anxiety.

This novel gives a great insight into mental illness, which youth don’t get enough exposure to and don’t talk about enough, discussing the privilege that so many able-minded people don’t realize they have.

Turtles All the Way Down is another one of Green’s gems and left me complete at the end of the book, not quite knowing what to do next. I highly recommend reading it. This book made me understand so much more about mental illness and how important and not talked about it is.

For those who are dealing with anxiety or any other mental disability, this book will show you that you are not alone. For those who are able-minded, Green’s book will remind you of your privilege and to use it for the better.

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