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.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
Even though I’ve liked every John Green book I’ve ever read, I continue to be surprised when I love any of his books. I’m not a ~huge~ fan of contemporary, so I think I’m always expecting it to disappoint me. But once again, John surprised me. I really loved TATWD. I thought it was an authentic (at least to my experience) reflection of living with Mental Illness. The characters were enjoyable. The plot was thoroughly interesting and well-paced. When I started the book I believed that, based off the synopsis, the story would focus a mostly on Aza’s investigation into the fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett. In reality, the investigation is fairly irrelevant to the story. I suppose that’s not fair, it does set up the events of the story; it’s more that it’s irrelevant to the essence of the story. The story isn’t about an investigation, it’s about a teenager fighting for normalcy when their thoughts and emotions feel very much out of their control. I think, if anything, the investigation took away from that. I wasn’t necessarily bothered by it, so much as I was uninterested. Even my biggest complaint can be taken as a testament to Green’s writing, as the internal conflict was even more interesting and compelling than the external conflict, which is hard to pull off. For me, Turtles All the Way Down was a meaningful, authentic book that ended up being one of my favorite books this year.
Note: While I found it incredible, I did occasionally find TATWD a tad distressing. It was not offensive or problematic to me in any way, but being in the mind of someone experiencing distressing mental ups and downs can be difficult to process. I would warn anyone with mental illness to be conscious of their own mental well being while reading this book 🙂
I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Did you read Turtles All the Way Down? What did you think? Do you want to read it? Let me know in the comments 🙂