Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John GreenTurtles All the Way Down by John Green
on October 10th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
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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.


Soooo Turtles all the Way Down left me with a lot of mixed feelings that just want to make me write this review all in the form of a turtle emoji. Because that would be easier than to try to find the right words to convey my feelings about this book. Anyways it’s hard to figure out what my thoughts are about for John Green’s latest novel as the only novel I really liked from him was The Fault in Our Stars. As interesting as the title is, however, the book is, unfortunately, not about turtles or saving turtles. In fact it has nothing to do with turtles (spoilers: it’s just a metaphor). Turtles was a bit different from John Green’s other works, but you can tell that it is also your typical John Green novel.

From the moment we meet our heroine, Aza, I found her to be a bit unlikable. I know that she has her own problems to deal with – from anxiety to other mental disorders, but there were times she was a bit callous. She’s also self-involved to the point that she doesn’t really know her friend, Daisy, well despite being friends with her for a long time. I was surprised at Daisy’s loyalty towards Aza because there were times throughout the book that would’ve made me give up on Aza as she was a pretty frustrating character. You want Aza to get better and hoped that she gets better, but she doesn’t allow herself to do so. Since it’s a John Green novel you know something inevitable happens to his characters so be prepare for tissues, maybe…? Eventually Aza tries to be better, but it’s sad to see her spiraling downwards to the point that her mother doesn’t know how to help her. There were times that I did like Aza such as her trying to matchmake Daisy.

It’s also hard to like Aza because she keeps pushing people who cared about her away and built a wall between herself and others. Until she meets Davis, our love interest in the story. Despite her personality I like that she doesn’t take advantage of Davis’ wealth, like Daisy does, when the girls decides to help Davis find his missing father. She genuinely wants to be his friend and maybe something more. But, Daisy isn’t superficial. I understand her reasoning for wanting the money because for someone who grows up without having a lot of money you of course take advantage of it when the opportunity falls on your lap, but I get Aza too at the same time because it feels wrong to take someone’s money when they offered little to almost no information. Daisy is not only patient with Aza, but it makes you wonder how Daisy puts up with it at times. I liked that she’s also nonjudgemental because there’s nothing more than I hate when someone judges you like you’re weird or something (giving you the side eye) because of your illness. I mean if you’re sick they should be understanding and props for Daisy not betting an eye. She treats Aza like the way she does everyone else.

There were times I couldn’t really connect with Aza. She was hard to empathize with, but I like the budding relationship she has with Davis and she’s real about what she wants with him. I felt bad for Davis at times especially when all he wants to do is make friends, who doesn’t want to take advantage of him because of his wealth, and find his father for his brother. I found the romance to be a bit unnecessary at times. Anyways, there were times throughout the book that I found it to be a little wordy. My final verdict of Turtles All the Way Down is it was more of a me not you book. There were times that I wanted to DNF this because of the wordiness that I forgot what the book was about. And also, the characters feel like they’re adults in a teen body, which is not bad per say but it makes me think that I’m reading an adult novel rather than a teen novel.


Author: Jackie

One Reply to “Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green”

  1. I don’t read John Green but from the reviews I have seen on this book it seems to be a like it or a not for me type of response on it. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it more.

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