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A Review of John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down


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By Sarah Jarrell ’18, Lifestyle Editor

“Nobody gets anybody else, not really. We’re all stuck inside ourselves.”

He’s done it again.

John Green is undoubtedly one of my favorite authors. Of his books I’ve read, there has not been one that I didn’t enjoy. Each story is unique, but all are consistently engaging and both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. After topping The New York Times Best Seller list with The Fault in Our Stars in 2012, John Green has become increasingly well-known and respected throughout the young-adult literature community.[1] Turtles All the Way Down is no exception to this great literary tradition.

The book is written from the point of view of the main character, Aza, who struggles with debilitating anxiety. It opens at the beginning of her final year of high school, giving the reader a small glimpse into just how difficult it can be for her to operate when the “spiral” begins tightening. Aza’s story is paralleled by that of the (literal) boy-next-door, Davis, who’s super-rich father has just gone missing. Inevitably, these two estranged childhood friends reconnect as they try to solve the mysterious case of the sudden disappearance of Mr. Pickett.

(I’ll leave you to discover the rest of the story by reading the book yourself, as I don’t want to give too much away in this review.)

Not surprisingly, Green employed various literary devices and techniques throughout the novel to create a truly engaging story that will keep you turning the pages until you regret having not paced yourself when you reach the end. I believe he did a stellar job at capturing the nature of anxiety and how it may affect someone in their daily life, and although I do not personally struggle with anxiety, I feel as though I have a better understanding of what it may be like for someone and am now more sensitive to the potential mental struggles of those around me.

Would I recommend?

Absolutely. I think John Green’s works are something truly unique in that they almost always make you feel something, whether that translate into uncontrollable sobs or anger, the emotion that he is able to evoke in his readers is undeniable.Beyond that, I found this book especially inspiring. Perhaps I’m biased, but I believe John Green is a key author for “young-adults” (what does that even mean?) and this book, like many of his others, has called into question my perspective on various aspects of life.

 

[1] Wikipedia contributors. “John Green (author).” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 Dec. 2017. Web. 10 Dec. 2017.

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A Review of John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down