Turtles All The Way Down is not a mystery that briefly mentions mental health, it foregrounds mental health and places the mystery in the background. For me, it was an amazing read and I could not rate it any lower than 5 stars.
This review has no spoilers!
It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity -synopsis from Goodreads.
Admittedly, the only memory I have of John Green is reading The Fault in Our Stars in high school and bawling my eyes out. Okay? No, I was not okay. But times have changed and so has my reading, and although I am a self-professed thriller and mystery reader, I do have a newfound love for YA novels.
Being a teenager is complicated and Aza deals with loss, friendship, and love. But these feelings are secondary to her struggles with anxiety and OCD which impact everything she does. John Green openly struggles with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it was inspirational to read something that so many people cope with on a daily basis.
“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”
This is an authentic representation of mental health in its rawest form. I struggle with anxiety and related to Aza’s struggles in some ways. Learning about OCD was very interesting but also really upsetting to know how people have to live their lives on a daily basis. The novel is filled with so many amazing quotes that I can relate to in many ways. I feel like John Green has a way with words, he can just say what we are thinking or feeling, and I really loved how that was highlighted in Turtles All The Way Down.
“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
John Green’s poignant account of Aza’s life is raw and the thing I loved most about this novel is that we are experiencing everything with Aza and not just reading about it from a distance. The first-person narration was really effective, and I really liked Aza as a character. She is beautiful and she is flawed and she is real.
I went into this novel with an open mind and whether you can relate to Aza’s struggles or not, this is one of the best novels I have read about mental health and you need to read it! Turtles All The Way Down was a rollercoaster of emotions for me. Aza’s story is definitely one that needed to be told and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this!