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Turtles All the Way Down


Turtles All the Way Down

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN is the newest young adult release from John Green, author of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, LOOKING FOR ALASKA and PAPER TOWNS. It follows Aza, a 16-year-old, who gets caught up in the mysterious disappearance of a local billionaire alongside her best friend, Daisy. In a strange twist of fate, this missing billionaire also happens to be the father of Davis Pickett, Aza’s long lost childhood friend. Aza struggles to manage her relationships, school and the investigation due to her overpowering mental health issues. TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN details Aza’s journey of self-discovery and growth in the midst of chaos.

John Green has one of my favorite writing styles of all time. His unique style is evident throughout the entirety of TURTLES ALL THE WAYS DOWN. The way he is able to weave words together is so mesmerizing to me, especially as an aspiring writer myself. The writing includes an abundance of metaphors and beautifully arranged phrases. I am truly amazed by the way in which John Green writes. His style kept me captivated during my entire reading experience.

"The beauty of the language contained within these pages alone is enough to make this novel worth the read."

The oh-so important companion to the author’s writing style is of course, the plot. Aza’s story is both relatable and interesting. I found that it was not as profound or life-changing to me in comparison to some of his older novels. However, Aza’s character highlights important pieces of mental illness that I had not come into contact with in other YA novels. Aza’s illness is realistic and almost acts as an additional character in the novel, shining light on the struggles of mental health-related illnesses. The ending wraps all of the elements of the plot up beautifully. An ending can truly make or break a novel for me and this conclusion stood out as a particularly great and effective one.

Speaking of characters, TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN includes a variety of character types with a diverse set of backgrounds and motivations. Davis and Noah were two particularly interesting and complex characters for me as I was reading. These siblings are dealing with the mysterious loss of their father in very different ways. Reading about their experiences portrays the complexity of grief as well as the reactions to it. Davis was my all-time favorite character from the novel. The reader learns the majority about Davis’ character through his secret blog posts. I found the quotes chosen in his blog posts to be telling and well suited to the novel. These posts were some of my favorites pieces of the novel, based on the beauty of the language contained in them itself.

As I mentioned earlier, TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN does not hold the position of my favorite John Green novel. It is both captivating and complex, but in my opinion it did not have quite as much shock value or richness as some of his previous novels. Despite this, I would still highly recommend TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN to any John Green fan or contemporary YA-lover. It is also an important novel regarding mental health as the majority of Aza’s conflict is based on her struggles with mental illness. The beauty of the language contained within these pages alone is enough to make this novel worth the read.

Reviewed by Danielle F., Teen Board Member on November 7, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down
by John Green

  • Publication Date: October 10, 2017
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0525555366
  • ISBN-13: 9780525555360