Turtles All The Way Down by John Green Book Review
I remember reading this book back last year in October thinking: “My gods I am NEVER picking this book up again” because I really really disliked it. I didn’t like the main character and thought the resolution of the plot was weak and it didn’t do the book any justice. Now, after reading it a second time and reading it quicker than I did back in October (note that I was a VERY slow reader and that a 288 paged book taken me longer than a week to read) but I guess now I appreciate this book a little bit more. I think that maybe John Green is better to read when you don’t linger on details for hours.
Anyway I am bumping up my review to 3 stars instead of my previous 2 stars.
I am not new to John Green, I have read The Fault In Our Stars earlier this year so I am used to his writing style and know that it is filled with smart metaphors and philosophical ideas. It was no surprise to find out that John Green continued as he did with previous books in Turtles All The Way Down. I was never really a fan of realistic fiction books (though I read them a lot) so I expected to not enjoy this book as much as, for example, the A Court Of Thorns and Roses series or any fantasy/magic novels.
Nowadays, the “character dealing with mental health” plotline has been used so many times it just seems as if I’m reading the exact same book. Look, don’t get me wrong I think that mental health being talked about more in books and in society is a good thing however, the main character Aza’s OCD became really overbearing sometimes.
Okay, but why was this a problem? Well if you read the blurb of the book, you would find out that the story is about a young girl called Aza who with her best friend Daisy go out and investigate the disappearance of billionaire Russell Pickett. Aza is trying to be a good daughter, friend and student however she is drowning in her thoughts (her thoughts spiralling down) about bacteria and C. Diff.
And that was the problem, the book was way too focused on Aza’s OCD instead of the actual Russell Pickett plotline. Without the whole Russell Pickett thing, I reckon nothing would’ve happened in the book at all. I expected a paper towns kind of book and unfortunately, I didn’t really get it.
But, let’s be positive here, the writing was amazing and John Green’s portrayal of mental health was incredible. He got anxiety on point (not that I ever experienced it to that extent) but it felt as if I really was in Aza’s “spiral” as well. In that sense, I reckon this book is extraordinarily powerful and meaningful to today’s society where such things affect people enormously.
Would I recommend it? Maybe, but only if you really are interested in these kinds of books and philosophical and metaphorical themes. I just didn’t think that John Green’s works are really for me. But of course I will still give Green a go!