Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down 
John Green 
Young Adult, mental illness 

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 copy is signed!!
Ok I said it moving on.

I came into this knowing it would be different from John's other books and therefore with no expectations. I remember hearing him read the first chapter last year and being nauseated, not even sure I wanted to buy it at all. 

But then it was gifted to me, and obviously I got excited anyway 😊

So yeah, Ava's condition is frankly nauseating for the rest of us. Aside from the thoughts themselves, she was self absorbed, annoying, and basically thought of herself as the victim all the time. I couldn't understand her - she often seemed like she wasn't even trying. Not taking her pills, being honest with her therapist, or throwing herself into a hobby or something she likes to give her other (good) things to think about. 

But then it was addressed. Daisy, her best friend, wasn't some sort of self-sacrificing saint who never said a word. The whole fanfic plotline was such a beautiful way of understanding Daisy, and for her to let out her feelings while still being a loving and loyal friend to Aza. The confrontation was due and satisfying, even if the whole car-crash thing was a little over done in my opinion.

In general, Turtles All the Way Down was more character-oriented than plot-oriented, just the way I like it (: The search for Davis's father was more the backdrop for Aza figuring out how to live life. In the end she became more aware and more at peace with herself, which allowed to stop just surviving but to be part of the world around her and think of the future. 

The end is truly beautiful. Suddenly you're in present tense, and Aza tells you what she learned from the whole book. How she grew, and continued to grow after that. It was happy and sad at the same time. John Green in all his glory. 


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