“Your now is not your forever”
“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
So, I have a confession. Turtles All the Way Down is my first ever John Green book.
I remember when The Fault in Our Stars came out because my sister was suddenly interested in reading, and then came the movie – and throughout I avoided it like the plague because ultimately I had no interest.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I decided to read this one… probably BookTube. However, after reading this I’d be inclined to pick up more of his work.
Turtles All the Way Down follows a young girl named Aza. Her mother is a teacher, her father passed away and her best friend is a Star Wars obsessed fan-fiction writer. Every day Aza battles with OCD and anxiety.
The plot of this book is… interesting.
A fugitive billionaire is on the run and there is a cash reward for anyone who has any information which leads directly to his location. Naturally our two main characters, who have no clear investigative skills, feel they’re up to the task. Luckily, it just so happens that, Aza knows one of the billionaires kids.
I’ll admit I usually don’t read the synopsis to books once I own them. If it’s recommended to me for whatever reason, then sometimes I don’t read them ever until after I’ve read it. Odd, I know.
However, because of this it did take me a second to catch up when they suddenly started the journey to the billionaires house.
I would have liked it if there was some other motivation, other than money, in the beginning. We did get some later, but I feel the resolution would have been more satisfying. Or perhaps I watched ‘Get a Clue’ too much as a kid, who knows?
I empathised with Aza a lot, and dealing with anxiety myself I felt I could connect with her in some way.
“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”
“Actually, the problem is that I can’t lose my mind. It’s inescapable.”
I must admit I don’t really have words to express how much those resonated with me.
Daisy, the Star Wars fanatic, was interesting. I enjoyed her extroverted nature however, there were points I seriously questioned her friendship with Aza. This is because there were points where she was so unnecessarily harsh. I feel she definitely had some insecurities and lashed out at Aza because of it however, this wasn’t totally addressed. If I remember right, it just all ended up being Aza’s fault and, while it may have been in part, it definitely wasn’t overall. However, Daisy did make some strides towards the end so that was nice to read.
Davis was the friend and potential love interest. The classic rich kid who’s sensitive and deep.
There are certain tropes I don’t mind if done well, and while I found him or his actions questionable at times, I always understood where they came from.
I was warned that John Green books showcased teenagers who sound like philosophers however, I found I didn’t mind that. This could be attributed to the fact that one of my favourite subjects at school was Philosophy and Ethics, but overall I think it worked well within the story.
While I found the plot interesting enough, I think my main draw throughout the book was definitely Aza. How she felt throughout the experiences, the struggles in her relationships with her mother, Daisy and Davis and ultimately the choices she had to make for herself.
I think this book drives home what most of us already know but perhaps had to learn. Just because something is normal to everyone else, that doesn’t mean it’s normal or comes naturally to you and that’s OK. It may take time, but ultimately, even if everyone else is saying or doing something different, you have to do what is best for you.
“No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again”