Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down

The following article originally appeared in Juniata High School's newspaper The Arrowhead.

After an agonizing five years of silence on the writing front, John Green, the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Fault in our Stars, finally released a new book on October 10th. However, as we all know, good things take time; and that is exactly what happened in terms of this book, titled Turtles All the Way Down.

In this novel, the narrator is Aza Holmes, a high school student who usually puts on a poker face when, in reality, she struggles with severe anxiety. While this is a large part of the story, it isn’t really the main plot line. When a local business mogul, Russell Pickett, goes missing during an investigation of malpractice, a $100,000 reward is offered for any information leading to the finding of Pickett. Aza's best friend Daisy proposes that they pursue the reward due to Aza being former best friends with Pickett’s son, Davis. Even though there are not very many characters in Turtles All the Way Down, the story comes together nicely. Since Aza is in her head most of the time, she only interacts with her mom, her therapist, Daisy, and another friend. Since you are involved with fewer characters, you get a better chance to learn about each person and end up feeling a stronger connection to them.

One extremely important element of the book is Aza’s anxiety. It’s important because it’s accurate. As a person who suffers from anxiety (albeit not as severe as that shown in the book), I understand how it switches on and off very easily. Additionally, I also relate to having two versions of myself- the rational one and the worrisome one. With the number of teenagers with anxiety growing, it is nice to see ourselves represented in books and not just as a statistic. The final great thing about Turtles All the Way Down is that, contrary to the stereotype about John Green novels, it did not make me cry! If you’re looking for a story with some mystery, the harsh truths of friendship, and little bit of romance (which is crazy because nobody is that specific about what they want to read), then Turtles All the Way Down might just be your next favorite book.

Junior, wanderer, writer, dreamer. 

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