By: Hannah Schmidt
October 10 the nearly six year drought finally ended: John Green published a new book. I received my signed pre order of Turtles All the Way Down in the mail that day and locked myself in my room for the rest of the night to delve into what was sure to be another quirky and sad romance mirroring The Fault in Our Stars. However, Turtles All the Way Down proved different than TFIOS or any other John Green book for that matter. Lacking the romanticism and sentimentality of his former novels, Turtles All the Way Down gives a sense of realism and rawness that shows a whole new side to Green’s writing.
The book follows the story of Aza Holmes, a 16 year old girl from Indiana living with OCD. She teams up with her best friend Daisy to solve the mystery of a missing criminal billionaire. Along the way she reunites with her childhood friend Davis, the fugitive billionaire’s son. While the novel presents this mystery and a little romance, the plot is not the main focus of the book. It is really about Aza’s mental health, seeking not to glorify OCD, but to make the reader understand how Aza thinks and feels. John Green pulls from his own life experiences of living with OCD to make Aza into a believable and extremely truthful character. In fact all of the characters, while living in uncommon circumstances (you probably aren’t a billionaire), feel very real and relatable. Additionally, Green uses Aza’s experiences to show the growth and fall of friendships and relationships in high school and how that can affect a teenager’s mental health.
Overall, Turtles All the Way Down was definitely worth the wait. If you are looking for a page turning, yet honest and human book, it’s definitely worth a read.