Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

John Green, award-winning author of The Fault in Our Stars, returned with his new book Turtles All the Way Down on Oct. 10, 2017.

Credit: John Green’s Instagram (@johngreenwritesbooks)
John Green posted the front page of the October 2017 BookPage issue promoting his new book Turtles All The Way Down.

At the start of her junior year in high school, Aza Holmes, also known as Holmesy, is a nervous mess as she talks on the phone with her best friend Daisy Ramirez. Aza hears the news of the disappearance of millionaire Pickett and a $100,000 reward to anyone with information that will help discover his location. Daisy and Aza are determined to find the clues. By the end of the novel, the reader has journeyed with the characters and watched them solve their problems, including the never-ending stack of turtles and the mystery of Pickett’s disappearance.

The book has already received much praise since its release. The Wall Street Journal called it “tender, wise, and hopeful” and The Guardian said, “[Turtles All the Way Down] might be a new modern classic.” Many Nerdfighters—people who are fans of the Vlogbrothers (Green and his brother Hank Green’s YouTube channel)—have taken it upon themselves to spread praise for Turtles All the Way Down.

Green expressed his gratitude for the book’s praise through his YouTube videos. In his videos, he has shared that Holmes, the protagonist of the story, has O.C.D. or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Green revealed that he himself struggles with O.C.D. “One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was because […] I did feel really alone for a long time and I think that psychic pain can be tremendously isolating, and that only compounds the pain of it,” said Green.

In the past, Green has captivated his audience and made them cry and empathize with his beloved characters—and this book is no exception. Having read all of Green’s other works this one by far my favorite.

Turtles All the Way Down provides insight into Aza’s mindset without ever explicitly stating that she has O.C.D. Never in the book are the phrases O.C.D. or obsessive-compulsive disorder uttered. He describes Holmes’ mental illness in a way that depicts the difficulty of her situation without demeaning her abilities. Green effectively portrays his own experience and creates a whole new world: Aza Holmes’ life. In my opinion, he accurately conveys what it like to love someone who faces Holmes’ life difficulties.

This is definitely one of Green’s best. Perhaps, it will become a classic like The Great Gatsby. With any luck, we will see Turtles All The Way Down in theatres soon.