Traditionally here on Fangirl Fury, I like to give you guys a quick summary of the book I’m reviewing. However, I find that its best to go into Turtles All the Way Down without knowing too much. I found that in its preliminary hype days it was promoted for its billionaire-gone-missing mystery element, but that’s definitely not the entirety of Aza’s story. While Turtles All the Way Down highlights friendships, family, romance, and the life of the American teenager, it most of all sheds light on mental health and what it’s like to live with mental illness.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
There are three things I am most definitely proud of myself for doing when it came to Turtles All the Way Down:
- I bought a signed copy of the book (bonus points for supporting my local indie bookstore)
- I AVOIDED SPOILERS! Almost all of the bloggers that I follow on social media have read Turtles All the Way Down before me, and kudos to me for not clicking on John Green’s reddit for questions and answers about the book
- I read the book within a month of its release! Yes, I read throughout the busy-ness that is my university life , but I thought I would pick up Turtles All the Way Down during winter break where I could really devote time to reading it. But after picking up a copy and seeing many positive reviews, I knew I had to read the book ASAP.
Since it was my goal to avoid spoilers while reading, I am going to keep my thoughts on the book as spoiler-free as possible! As you might be able to tell from my 5 out of 5 star rating, I absolutely loved Turtles All the Way Down. I really like John Green as an author (there’s only two of his books that I haven’t been crazy about) and as a person. Like many, I am so happy that he has a new book out in the world.
Like I said above, Turtles All the Way Down incorporates a variety of elements, but the most important of them all is the focus on Aza’s mental health. Aza lives in fear that she’ll contract C. diff and this fear affects how she goes about her life and routines. One of the most successful aspects of Turtles All the Way Down is how through Aza’s narration, we are able to experience what it’s like to live with mental illness. I think what really aided this aspect was how real Aza’s life feels: she’s a high school student (there are many moments in the book where she’s texting her friends or actually doing schoolwork), she has a great female-to-female friendship with her Chuck E. Cheese employee of a best friend, Daisy, and the two spend many nights at Applebee’s talking about school and Star Wars (let’s be honest, I was sold on this book once I read that Applebee’s was Daisy and Aza’s go-to spot). We do have the whole billionaire-gone-missing element and Davis, but I thought that side of the storyline provided a nice juxtaposition between Aza and Davis. Yes, they come from different class backgrounds, but they often share similar feelings. Also, sidenote of appreciation for Davis’s blog and Daisy’s fan fiction!
While it may seem a bit mundane considering how large of a role mental health plays in the book, my favorite aspect overall was the fact that Aza’s last name is Holmes. AND SHE’S SORT’VE SOLVING A MYSTERY, SHE’S SHERLOCK HOLMES!! I haven’t read too many interviews with John Green about the book, but I really want to know if her last name had this intention.
I think The Fault in Our Stars will always be my favorite John Green book, but Turtles All the Way Down is definitely in my top 3 favorites of his. Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? Share in the comments!