Hello everyone, I hope you are doing very well!
Today I am doing a book review, since I just finished John Green’s most recent novel, Turtles All the Way Down. I really hope you’ll enjoy this post, please let me know in the comments below if you have read this book!
Disclaimer: This post is a book review, therefore there may be some spoilers. I’ll try not to spoil too much😉
Author: John Green
Genre: Young adult novel, realistic fiction
Date of publication: October 10, 2017
Number of pages: 286 (English version), 338 (French version)
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.
(Summary found on the back cover of the book)
Aza Holmes: Protagonist and narrator. She is a 16 year old girl, going to high school. She suffers from multiple anxiety disorders, such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and the fear of the human microbiome. She sees a therapist regularly, even though Aza doesn’t think it helps. Her dad died of a heart attack about eight years before the story begins.
Daisy: Aza’s best friend, she’s probably the same age as Aza. She is outgoing, chatty and cheerful. She loves Star Wars, actually she writes Star Wars fan fiction.
Davis Pickett Jr. : He is also around 16 years old, he is Aza’s love interest. He comes from a very rich family (His dad owns a very big engineering company) and lives in a huge house with his brother Noah, their mom died when they were little. His dad disappears at the beginning of the book. He owns a blog where he writes poetry and thoughts about his life.
Mom: Aza’s mother (name unknown). She teaches mathematics at Aza’s high school. She does everything to help Aza but she doesn’t fully understand her anxiety. She and Aza are very close and have a very respectful relationship.
Davis Pickett, Sr. : He is Davis Jr.’s dad. He is a very successful business man and owns an engineering company. He disappears at the beginning of the novel after the police try to arrest him for fraud. We learn that he is cold and that he doesn’t have a good reputation.
Mychal: Friend of Aza and Daisy, he goes to high school with them. For a short period of time he goes out with Daisy. He is an aspiring artist, he loves photography. He isn’t very confident.
Noah: Davis Jr.’s little brother, he is 13 years old. He is very affected by his father’s disappearance, he still believes that his father loves him.
Dr. Singh: Aza’s therapist.
It’s an orange spiral, with the title and name of the author written in a thick black brush font. This orange spiral has a special meaning in the story, it’s a painting that is in Davis’ (Aza’s friend, then boyfriend) house. In my opinion, it also represents what is going on in Aza’s head, her ever-tightening spiral of thoughts.
Identity, mental illness, individuality, language and meaning, chaos and order/control, power, wealth.
At first, I had some trouble getting into the story but after about twenty pages I was really immersed in the story, but that’s just personal!
I never read a novel with a main character that was this researched and this well thought out. I heard that it took a few years for John Green to write this book and now I totally understand why! Not only Aza’s character is insanely well thought out, but the novel really makes you think and it raises a lot of questions.
By reading this book, it really helped me see what is going on in someones head, someone who suffers from OCD and anxiety. I also suffer from anxiety (travel and crowd) so it felt really realistic. It really impresses me how John Green can capture and understand so many things of the teenage life. Everything feels very accurate.
It’s quite different from John Green’s other novels, but you can still recognize his writing style: it makes you smile, laugh but also cry. I’m obsessed!
Also, there may be mystery (caused by the disappearance of Davis Pickett Sr.), friendship and love life, but I realized that it was not the main focus, unlike other novely by John Green. The main focus is Aza’s mental health.
Overall, I thought it was a really great book. When I finished reading it, I was speechless, I just did not know what to say (which was a good feeling for me haha!). I highly recommend it, if you love John Green like I do, you’ll probably love this one too!
And there you go, I really hope you enjoyed this book review, please let me know in the comments below if you’ve read this book😊
I wish you a very nice day/night and I will talk to you in my next blog post!
All the love,
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