“Turtles all the way down” by John Green

This book was difficult to rate. It had some phenomenal writing in it but the story was lacking. It was OK, it was alright. But this book should have been sometime more. Something much more. I have had a range of emotions, when it comes to this author’s books. Some of them I loved (TFIOS, Looking for Alaska), but some weren’t really up to my standards (Will Grayson, Will Grayson). ‘Turtles all the way down’ unfortunately is in the latter category.


With its big font and line spacing, there was physically less to it than it appeared. However, the story line was also spread thin.

I think the topic of mental health issues within young adults is an important one to explore, but I’m not sure if a love story between a girl and a rich boy who’s father is missing after being convicted of a crime is a way to do it. The entire story of the guy’s father was too much, it was unnecessary in my opinion, a little bit strange. However, I do think Green captured the relations of our main character Aza with other people in a fantastic and a unique way. Her friendship with Daisy was so real, included both the good and the bad parts. Aza’s relation with her mother was one I also enjoyed. Both of those relations gave the topic of mental health issues an additional layer, an experience of what it is like for people around the suffering person. The romance was ‘meh’, it’s like it wasn’t even there, not sure if it was necessary. It was too unrealistic, that entire situation, if the author wanted to focus on Aza, I wish he did, instead of prolonging her story, without contributing to it.


The ending was unsatisfactory, to say the least. I’m not sure whether that story has reached its potential in any way. There’s two ways I can look at it. The first one is that it was realistic, nothing reached a conclusion, not really. It wasn’t a big shock. The second way, which is more of the way I looked at the ending, it was empty with  no character development as such. Aza didn’t necessarily have any personality traits, I didn’t feel like there was much to her except her anxiety. Actually there wasn’t much to the plot either, it didn’t have an impact on me.


But maybe it had an impact on others. Maybe it was a book that someone out there waited for and its words where exactly what they needed to hear (read) right now. I hope so, I really do because then that book would be something more, maybe it would be what it was meant to be all along. I think the writing about mental health issue specifically, OCD and anxiety, was phenomenal and one of a kind, and I hope it had helped somebody, to see it all that‘s so hard to put into words, described in this book.

3 responses to ““Turtles all the way down” by John Green”

    • Yea exactly, plot didn’t seem to fit well.
      He has many novels so I hope you’ll be able to find something you like 🙂 I particularly enjoyed ‘Looking for Alaska’, I thought it was a very unique one and also ‘The fault in our stars’ is very well known.

      Liked by 1 person

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