Book Reviews

Turtles all the way down by John Green

My Rating – 5

Trigger Warning – OCD 

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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.

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Turtles all the way down was such a good book. some things were an issue for me though, but we will get into that later. This was my first John Green novel and it wasn’t bad. I enjoyed his writing style and the overall book. I do want to say as someone with OCD and the constant thought spiral, this rep I related to so much with the thoughts and behaviors. I felt like I was reading about my everyday life just trying to find the magic off switch so that I could think and be myself.

Your MC Aza is someone who struggles with OCD. She starts off with her best friend Daisy to try and figure out the great mystery behind Russell Pickett’s disappearance. She is soon tangled between the mystery and her relationship with Davis (Russell’s Son). You see her try her best to fit in and be talkative, But she is struggling inside to shut the thoughts up. Aza goes through therapy for years to try and help her behaviors, but so far nothing works and she just wants the thoughts to go away.

I enjoyed the book, but I really didn’t see sometimes where it was going. I loved the OCD rep and the storyline, but then you would flip and go back to the Pickette disappearance. I really wanted it to be about one or the other as sometimes it was monotonous to read. I loved the mystery of the disappearance, but it took away from the mental illness aspect of the story. I love mental illness book because they help me to find stories about myself and help me to understand others with mental illnesses.

Another aspect I hated was the mom always putting pressure on her to do the right thing or to talk. When you have OCD you can get lost in your head and miss a whole conversation or miss something happening and never know it was there, to begin with. I disliked that the mother always puts so much pressure for her to talk about it and told her she did not want to lose her too. It was really sad to see Aza deal with that type of pressure.

Overall the book was well written and the rep was very good. I just think it should have been about the mystery or the OCD. I think doing both at the same time kind of took away from both stories. As my first John Green novel, I loved it and ill probably pick up more of his books to see if I enjoy them too.

Have you read this novel? What did you think of it?

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