Let me start this review by stating John Greens latest novel Turtles All The Way Down is the best book I’ve read in years. The last time a book demanded my undivided attention is all but a distant memory. It was probably Harry Potter or Twilight. Yes, I am that person.
All of Johns novels have the power to pull me out of a reading slump, but this is by far my favorite of his works. The story follows OCD ridden AZA & her fan fiction writing best friend Daisy and their journey to find missing billionaire Russell Pickett, all in exchange for a hefty $100,000 reward. Along her journey, Aza is reunited with childhood acquaintance Davis Pickett, son of the missing billionaire she seeks. If you’ve read any of Johns precious books, you know he writes in a way that is very clear and easy to follow. While Turtles All The Way Down focuses on mental illness and other serious issues that plague the human race every day, clarity is not sacrificed. Like most of his works, I blew through this book in under two days.
One of the things I love so much about Turtles All The Way Down is how relatable it is. The story includes coping mechanisms for death and grief, poverty & social class, mental health, specifically Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and anxiety, absentee parents, poetry and literature, and even a tuatara. John writes of these in a way that seems relatable. Even the rich kids are relatable to someone who has never been gifted financially, all because there is not a single character in this book who has a perfect cookie cutter life. Everyone has something, but no one has it all. And that’s real life, for the most part.
The synopsis will tell you, just as I have in this review that this story is about two best friends on a journey to find a missing rich man, but it’s so much more than that. Yes, that is a piece of the story, but it’s such a small piece. This is a book about a girl and her struggle to cope with everyday life while struggling with OCD. It’s about the struggle of a girl with damn near perfect mental health who comes from a poor family and watches other people, who claim to be poor, drive up in their cars and google things on laptops instead of smart phones. It’s about a boy who does his best to be there for his brother and his abandonment issues when their father goes missing, all the while feeling incompetent and dealing with the same issues himself. It’s a story about a widow who walks through life terrified she will lose the only person she has left in the world.
This is a story about real life and real problems, and I recommend it to everyone.