Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Maggie Coleman, Staff Writer

Turtles All The Way Down, the newest book by John Green, best known for his critically acclaimed book The Fault In Our Stars, describes 16-year-old Aza as she tries to solve the mystery of well-known billionaire Russell Pickett’s disappearance. She befriends Russell Pickett’s son, Davis, in order to try and solve the mystery. (Warning: spoilers ahead!)

Turtles is an excellent read and confronts the issues of mental health with brutal honesty, yet continues to keep the mood as uplifting and optimistic. Unlike The Fault In Our Stars, which contains a major character death, all of the major characters of Turtles make it to the end. There is still loss, though, with the majority of the sadness and struggling come from the protagonist Aza herself. OCD seems to rule her life and makes ordinary things difficult. Green’s writing drops the reader into Aza’s mind, which creates a sense of realness and immersion. 

The book begins slowly. The ending, however, is a true plot twist (which I will not spoil) and was something I definitely did not see coming. In addition, the book as a whole was realistic and what would happen in the real world.  

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Turtles and felt John Green did a great job of following up The Fault In Our Stars. In true John Green fashion, he wrote the book with wit, humor, sadness, irony, and a plot twist. It made the book seem realistic, yet unrealistic, because what 16-year-old attempts to solve the disappearance of a billionaire? Yet Green takes this concept and runs with it, integrating mental health issues that he handles with clarity and shocking candor.