Turtles All The Way Down by John Green


for the official blurb go here.

My blurb: teen girl overcome by intense mental health issues attempts to live a normal life in high school.

3.75 our of 5

I can’t rate this book 4 out of 5 stars because I wouldn’t buy it. But it sure is worth a read.  Let me start out saying that I LOVE John Green’ s writing. I should also stipulate that I do not love all of his books. In fact there is only one book that became part of my soul- The Fault in Our Stars (an absolute must read if you have a soul at all!) I did not enjoy the rest of his books nearly as much, but his writing style…hot dog, it’s amazing. (I literally have never used that expression in my life but it felt appropriate).

Okay down to the nitty gritty. SPOILERS AHEAD. The main character, Aza, has some dark and twisty monsters in her head. Side note- I was never actually sure how to pronounce her name, isn’t that the worst when you read a whole book and you don’t even know how to pronounce some characters names?! Anyways, Aza’s mind is a lot to handle – and this book puts you in there. Was anyone else slightly frazzled when reading this?? I was and it was totally because I was in her head- and I really didn’t want to be.  Her best friend, Daisy (yay a name I can pronounce!), is very patient with her and also truthful in the end about how hard it is to be friends with her! Daisy was both funny and truth. I would love those sentiments to be said about me one day. Aza is so self-centered, and you notice that a little bit, but you’re in her head, so you actually dont come to the full realization until she does herself! Again- it is because John Green is a genius.  One of my favorite small details in the book was that Daisy always called Aza by her nickname, Holmsey, and only ever called her Aza when she felt that the monsters were taking over. Did anyone else notice that?

I have totally not even mentioned another large plotline in the novel – Aza’s boyfriend Davis and his missing dirtbag father. That’s mostly because, while i liked Davis, I wasn’t that invested in him. I could never picture him (which you should know by now is a huge pet peeve for me when reading about a love interest). I liked his angsty poet soul, but i didn’t really care about the mystery of finding his dad. Side note- all of JG’s books except for TFIOS have some kind of mystery to be solved in them.

Okay let’s talk about that ending. I reread it THREE times because I felt like I missed something! Everything in the book was moving fairly chronologically, so in the end when time jumped a bit, that threw me. But like i said, we were in Aza’s head and it turns out she was writing down the story all along.  Two things though – did she end up with Davis? Is he the father of her future children that she mentions? Thing number two – it’s so John Green but I didn’t want a realistic ending for her. I wanted Aza to slay her dragons. But JG is all about the realistic ending and not the happy ending. And so Aza lives in peace with her dragon sometimes and other times the dragon is in control. And that makes me sad.

Rumor on the street is that John Green has some pretty intense dragons of his own. How amazing is it that he wrote a character like this? (But really, could she have had a better name?)

Pick up this book to read. It’s not a beach read, more of a snowy day, post break up, your parents are annoying you – type of read.

Favorite quote from the book (there were a TON to choose from): “You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person and why.”

Happy reading,


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