Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Celeste Bleeker, Staff Writer

WARNING: SPOILERS

John Green’s newest book, Turtles All the Way Down, is proof that Green’s writing only gets better the more he writes.

The book starts out with a startling revelation: the main character, Aza Holmes, is going through an identity crisis of sorts, realizing that she might just be a piece in a fictional, clock-like, scheduled world. Aza also struggles constantly with severe OCD, which makes it hard for her to go through her daily life normally. Her main fears are of a disease called C. diff (Clostridium difficile) and of the human microbiome. One day, Aza’s best friend, Daisy Ramirez, an avid Star Wars fanfic writer, finds out that Russell Pickett, a local billionaire and the father of Aza’s former friend, Davis, has gone missing. The reward for clues leading to the capture or location of Russell is $100,000, a reward that both Aza’s and Daisy’s families need.

Aza and Daisy go on a canoeing/trespassing adventure which ends up re-connecting Aza and Davis. Their relationship grows, but Davis sees that they just want the money so, to deter Aza from being his friend to find his father and get the reward, Davis gives her the $100,000 straight up. Daisy is ecstatic, while Aza is reluctant to keep, let alone use, any of the newly-acquired cash. Aza starts a kind-of-sort-of maybe boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Davis. Her and Daisy and Daisy’s boyfriend, Mychal, start a lot of hanging out at the Pickett mansion, which we find out is to be bequeathed to Mr. Pickett’s pet taratua, a lizard that had dinosaur descendants? It’s pretty weird. So now there is conflict because, while Davis and his little brother, Noah, both need a father-figure in their lives, their paternal (and missing) father might be dead. If he was dead, everything would go to the mutant lizard thingy, leaving HIS SONS with basically nothing. So Davis is conflicted with having the search for his father continue, or prolonging the search attempts. Yay.

Meanwhile, Aza is always stuck in her own mind, worrying about C. diff and germs and her finger, which she obsesses with. Kind of sad and weird at the same time. Aza starts rejecting the idea of a relationship with Davis because she thinks that her OCD makes it impossible. Davis pleas with her, but she draws back from communicating with him. Around this same time, she finds his blog, where Davis posts little poetic snippets along with comments about Aza herself. But the real question is “Do they find Davis’ dad?” Well, you’ll have to read it to find out….