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Turtles All the Way Down 1/2

Updated on February 20, 2019
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My thoughts on "Turtles All The Way Down" by John Green

SPOILER ALERT/Background Information

The Young Adult novel "Turtles All The Way Down" is another one of bestselling author John Green's creations. Green is very well known for the novel "The Fault In Our Stars", as it sold 10.7 million copies worldwide. He is also known for many other successful books. However, Turtles All The Way Down sold only about 129,000 copies. In my opinion, I believe that this book should have sold a lot more than that.


This book dives deep into the subject of mental health right off the bat. The main protagonist Aza Holmes is a sixteen year old that has some degree of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and has a difficult time dealing with it, along with the death of her father when she was younger. For example, she is always overly aware about the bacteria in her stomach and is very concerned that she has C Diff, (a bacterium that disrupts the colon) though her therapist is very adamant that it is all in her head. Her anxiety also creates the thought in her head of whether or not she is real in this world.

Aza's best friend Daisy Ramirez is a very optimistic and happy go lucky teenager that has kept Aza from practically going insane. Daisy works at Chucky Cheese and writes 'Star Wars' fan-fiction about Chewbacca's love life.

When Aza lost her father, her mother sent her to a camp to I guess, learn how to grieve when losing a parent. She met a boy there named Davis Pickett Jr. who lost his mother, and is the son of wealthy Davis Pickett Sr. Pickett Sr. was one of the most successful business men in Indianapolis. He owns Pickett Engineering. He mysteriously disappeared one night and left his two children behind. Though the two children were well off financially, the youngest child Noah Pickett wanted his dad back at home.

Davis Pickett Sr. was charged with fraud and embezzlement which is the only known reason on why he vanished. There is a warrant out for his arrest and a reward for anyone who has information on him. A reward of $100,000.

Daisy came up with the idea to find any evidence on the man to get this award. Aza hesitantly agrees to it and they find camera footage of him leaving in the middle of the night. The two girls meet up with Davis Jr. and try to reconnect.

At the end of the day Davis knows why they are there and makes it clear to them that he has no idea where his father is. During this process Aza feels a connection to Davis and at this point, seems like the love interest.

Speaking of love interest, the third person in the friend group between Aza and Daisy is Mychal Turner. Daisy and Mychal wind up dating during the time of meeting up with Davis.

While Aza and Davis were under the stars on the gulf course at the Pickett home, it seemed like they were going to kiss but then they got into a gross conversation about how Aza feels like actual bird shit.

When they got inside the house, Davis went through all the cabinets in the kitchen and gave Aza the reward money that was stashed in cereal boxes. Aza did not want to accept this, but Davis did not want his dad thrown in prison for the sake of his little brother's well being.


My Opinion

Now that the background information is pretty much all down for how far I've gotten in the book, lets get into what I think about it.

I generally really like the book so far, the writing style and plot are very different. The description of the book did portray this as something different though. I honestly thought from the blurbs that it was going to be pretty damn bad. I thought it was going to be about these teenagers unrealistically going through this adventure of trying to find this man and turn him into the authorities. A John Green book usually doesn't entail things like that, so I was genuinely confused. So much so that I wanted to read it.

I am now on page 124 out of 286 and it has been pleasantly surprising. The entire story has been very relatable when it comes to Aza. I personally have very bad anxiety and mild OCD, no where near the kind she has though. I mostly focus on things that aren't positioned correctly or if something is written wrong. It is nice to be able to connect to someone who has issues like that as well. It is a hard read for people who do have these problems, certain things that go on inside of Aza's head are difficult to comprehend and you are lucky if you don't have to put down the book and take a breather because of the anxiety it can cause. I don't mean that in an insulting way, I just think Green did a really great job of depicting it that it almost feels real to the reader.

I do still kind of think that the idea of them trying to obtain the reward as sixteen year old's is just something not many teenagers do. It is something that really doesn't happen. But on the rare occasion it does, this would the most legal way to do it. Get that money honey!

I really think that Davis and Aza would be really good for each other if they do end up dating. They could both help each other through they're hard times and mental illnesses.

I highly recommend this book, I will do a second part to this when I finish it. The story has been a very good read and makes you unable to put the book down.


4 stars for A little under half way through the book, review.

© 2019 Angie M

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    • thedinasoaur profile image

      Dina Abdel Hady 

      3 weeks ago from California

      Hey! As a fan of John Green's work, I clicked on your article so fast, it's kind of hilarious. Anyway. I also have OCD and anxiety (among other things) and this book hits such a nerve for me. John Green has OCD and I feel like this is his best work so far. There's this raw honesty in this book that I haven't seen in most of the stories I have read so far.

      I am curious: what do you think of the rich person's kids? And, what do you think of Daisy? Does her friendship with Aza mirror your own experiences with friends? That was a huge thing for me that made me squirm a bit: people kind of...being cruel about mental illness is a thing I have experienced.

      Keep on reading! And, also: welcome to Hubpages. I am going to give you a follow.

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