Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about John Green’s latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down. I really enjoyed this book, and it was actually pretty short, being less than three hundred pages. I do think this book is still way too overhyped, but I am glad I read it because it has fantastic representation for anxiety and OCD, but let’s just go ahead and jump right into the review!
“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. ”
I absolutely adored the representation for anxiety and OCD. That was definitely the strongest point of the story for me. It was very accurate, and I can definitely speak to that representation personally because I have an anxiety disorder. Though I cannot personally speak to the OCD representation, I did relate to parts of the OCD that were present in this novel. Anxiety and OCD overlap quite a bit, so while I personally do not have OCD, I can relate to aspects of it.
With that said, I felt like the rest of the book kind of fell flat. I didn’t really care about the romance at all. It just was something that was kind of there. The mystery was honestly something I forgot about until the very end. This book has mostly been marketed about the mystery, and I think that is a bit misleading since the mystery is more of a subplot than anything else. I think this book could have been just as strong without the mystery had it just focused on Aza’s mental health and her struggles with her mental illness.
The only character I really did not like was Daisy, Aza’s best friend. While I appreciated all of the Star Wars references since Daisy is a huge Star Wars fan, I really disliked her character. She could be very shallow, and she honestly annoyed the holy crap out of me. She doesn’t treat Aza the way she should be treated, and she just is very callous towards what Daisy is going through, and that really bothered me. She acts like Aza has a choice, that she chooses to have these thoughts and feelings toward herself when that is not the way it works. They are called invasive thoughts for a reason…
While I liked her mother, Aza’s mom just said something that I know a lot of people say these days toward mental illness, my family included. She basically was telling her daughter that she should be better, that she just shouldn’t have these thoughts, like they operate on a switch she can just turn off, which isn’t the way it works. It’s like telling someone with depression to stop being sad. It doesn’t work that way. You can’t just shut off your mental illness whenever you feel like it. It is just this constant thing that you are always aware of.
I do think everyone should read this book, whether you have a mental illness or not. This book is one of the best ways to actually know what its like to have a mental illness. You are literally inside Aza’s head, and the only way one can even begin to understand what it is like to have a mental illness is to experience it, and this book really lets you in on what its like to have a mental illness.
Of course, the writing was also so beautiful. I always love John Green’s writing style. Its always so simple and easy to read, but also very beautiful, and some of my favorite quotes are from his books because I love his writing so much.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I definitely recommend you check this book out if you get the chance!
And there you have it! That was my review of Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. What is your favorite mental health fiction novel you have read? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!