Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing break. This was absolutely one of my favorite winter breaks- mostly because I read tons and tons of books, and watched a little too much television. My Goodreads reading goal for 2017 was 52 books, and I surpassed it by reading 57! I’ve set my goal for this year as 52 again, but I hope to increase that number as the year goes on. I’m currently re-reading the Mortal Instruments series, which took up most of the break. I’ll link my review here, but {to be honest}, it’s a terrible and confusing post that I wrote almost 4 years ago. I’ve now made up my mind to write a comprehensive review of Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world as soon as possible! I digress- here is my review of Turtles All the Way Down by John Green! 

Quick Synopsis:

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 has a mental illness, severe anxiety, and it prevents her from doing many of the things considered normal. 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.

~ 4/5 stars

~ Ages 14 to adult

~ contains minor (not even spoilers, just character description) spoilers about TAtWD.

{Before I embark on the journey of this review, I have a small rant. I’ve noticed that most book bloggers place a synopsis of the book before jumping into the review. It’s confused me until now, when I realized that I kind of forgot the book, though I read it less than two weeks ago. Let me know what you think about the book summary at the beginning. It used to annoy me, and I now suddenly understand it’s purpose. Do you find the summary helpful, or simply irritating?}

I first must remark on the title. It makes absolutely and completely no sense until about 3/4 of the book is done. I even commented out loud to my mom about the strange title, and a few pages later, found out what it meant. It was actually the first book I read in 2018, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve liked John Green’s other books, and kept hearing about this one; from the Goodreads Choice Awards, my friends, and many booktubers. Before I had the chance to check it out, my friend gave me the book for Christmas! (Thank you, secret friend, if you’re reading this!)

I was so surprised by the book. It was incredibly thought provoking and just really strange to read. Aza’s character was so interesting, and I truly loved the ending. It seemed real and honest, (a theme running through all of Green’s books), not some kind of fairy-tale happy ending. I cannot stress enough how unnerving it was to read. Just getting this snapshot into how Aza’s anxiety ridden brain worked was eye-opening and a very intense experience. I was so interested by how her mind functioned, and especially the idea of the tightening spiral.

I do wonder how accurate John Green’s description of anxiety is. I don’t (to the best of my knowledge) have any mental health issues, and so I have little idea about how it works. Either way, it was a fascinating description of mental health.

The book was a bit confusing, but extremely interesting, which was exactly what I expected from a John Green book. Aside from Aza, I found the other characters to be lackluster and insincere. This applies especially to Daisy, who I thought was realistic and complex at the start, but who ended up as a weak, underdeveloped and flat side-kick. The friendship between Aza and Daisy was a bit cliché, and I found the moments of honesty between the two to be boring and unrealistic.

Overall, however, it was a complex and different type of book that I enjoyed very much! I would recommend it to fans of John Green’s other books. Those who did not like his other books will definitely not like this one. Let me know what you think about TAtWD and the book summary thing in the comments below! Thanks, and see you all soon!

Link to my Goodreads account: here