BOOK REVIEW | Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

October 18, 2017

john green turtles all the way down book

Publisher : Dutton Books for Young Readers; First Edition Edition
Publication Date : October 10, 2017
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250141435
ISBN-13 : 978-1250141439


 It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

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.

My Blurb

John Green has given us his most sincere, painful but realistic novel yet. I am happy that I have never outgrown his stories… Or simply put, I grew up with him.

If you have been following me for a while, it’s obvious that John Green is one of my favorite authors. And you’ll probably say I’m biased but you have to know upfront that 1) I do not like all his books *sorry, Katherine*,  2) just because I’m writing this way doesn’t mean I can’t see any flaws because 3) I am totally honest with my reviews.

I pretty much don’t know where to start because I waited more than 5 years for a new book from him and I “tweeted” him countless times, asking for a new book. And now that it came, oh boy, it conquered. Let me begin by being bold here:

‘Turtles All The Way Down’ is WORTH THE WAIT and it is better than ‘The Fault in Our Stars.

Okay, before you throw shades at me, this is my *very* personal opinion so please respect it. I’m comparing it TFiOS because that’s his most acclaimed book. (Looking for Alaska is sacred so nothing is gonna be better than that, okay.) Here’s the thing, I read TFiOs when it first came out and I vividly remember how I cried because I was reading a story about two people who hopelessly love each other against all odds…

With TURTLESit made me cry *multiple times* but not because it’s a hardcore love story; it’s not about a manic pixie dream girl who will break your heart. I shed tears because I felt like I was reading a story about myself. It started in a very Green-esque way: full of charm and metaphors and profound ideas that will make you question everything. In the beginning, it may slightly mislead you as if you are Nancy Drew investigating a missing person. But as we go deeper, things start to have more depth and focus: Aza’s mental health.

This book will make you feel uncomfortable especially if you are experiencing anxiety and have OCD. The spot-on moments where Aza feels like a liability to those around her; when she feels useless and she just wants the anxiety to disappear but more often than not, that is never the case. Because it’s turtles all the way down…

It’s so realistic that it will not sugarcoat anything to you – that maybe you will get the cure of a lifetime. No, the book will tell you that though you are suffering, you can learn how to live with it and be happy with your life. And that’s the beauty of it. John Green talks about mental health in a way to make you realize that you are understood; that you are not alone; that the rope gets tighter and the spiral goes down BUT you can survive.

It is so raw and real and it hits me to the core, even and despite the fact that I am a married adult and Aza Holmes is a 16-year old girl trying to figure out her life. See? I guess what makes a book great is how it talks to you as if saying it understands you at that moment when no one else can.

As someone who is paralyzed by Anxiety, I felt like this book is made for me. There were so many parts of it that made me go “I feel ya, Aza. I feel ya.”

And then Green comes back with a witty quotable line that I am pretty sure can be my life motto anytime. I also admire the kind of friendship that Green built here. It focused more on that than the romantic trope. How it ended was also something that I wanted to see from a matured POV. It wasn’t a fairy tale but it was full of hope…

John green quotesMental Health Awareness is something that should be talked about – in books and movies. There were many attempts but there are few who could relay the message clearly. Knowing that Green has OCD and Anxiety Disorder, I feel empowered that he could write about a character that mirrors his readers’ feelings or even his own.

Green never fails to be that voice – the voice for people, Young and Adults alike,who can’t put into words their gazillion thoughts running inside their heads. ‘Turtles All the Way Down’ immediately became a John Green favorite. I guess blame it to the timing of its arrival, just like what happened to Looking for Alaska. But then again, the perfect book always comes to you at the right moment.

I sincerly hope that by reading this, you will feel less alone. ♥️


Fun Facts: 1) I read it first thru Kindle because I cannot wait for my copy but never finished it, I stopped from time to time because I was crying. Then my copy came and I read it again from page one so I kind of memorized chapter one by now! LOL 2) this is one of my most-highlighted books ever! There were so many good lines!




comments so far.

4 responses to “BOOK REVIEW | Turtles All The Way Down by John Green”

  1. Jean says:

    Just started reading last night (thank you for recommending this one), on Chapter 6 now. I have always loved John Green and TFiOs made me cry, too. And I don’t like Katherine, too. And I love Looking For Alaska, too. — so those are the few points on your article that made me say, “yeah”. I have yet to finish the book and discover what’s gonna happen, but I am already loving Aza’s character, as I too have my own share of anxieties and OCDs. I have to agree that this book will make you feel like ‘you are not alone’, as this early, I feel it, too. Thank you for this review, Abeer. It enlightened me more and made me more excited to finish the book. You are indeed my book fairy. x

    • lookingforabura says:

      Thank you, Jean!!! The spiral gets tighter but we can survive it. Hope you end up loving it, too. Mwaaaah 😘😘😘

  2. Krisha says:

    What a great and very personal review. I did not like his other books except TFIOS AND ALASKA. I am looking forward to reading this next week! Thank you. <3

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Abeer is a part-time muggle, part-time blogger who loves books, films, coffee, photography, good food, vintage stuff, cozy mornings and warm hands. If she's not here, she's probably procastinating.

This is a blog for books & life + style.




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