Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green


Even if you are not an avid bookworm, chances are you’ve heard of the acclaimed contemporary fiction author, John Green. Some of Green’s most notable novels include The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, and Paper Towns. These books tend to resonate with the younger generations, but can be popular with adults as well. As I have been a fan of Green’s conversational and rather colloquial style of writing for quite some time, I could not wait to read his most recent book, Turtles All the Way Down.

Now, you may be wondering, “What could a book with that unique title possibly be about?” Don’t worry, I have a quick overview of the plotline with no spoilers up ahead! 

Essentially, the story follows a curious teenage girl, Aza, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD. The first person point of view allows the reader to directly understand each of Aza’s thoughts throughout the book and how she is able to fight her internal battle of mental illness while facing a plethora of external situations such as the disappearance of Mr. Pickett, a local billionaire. When Aza hears of his disappearance and the appealing hundred-thousand-dollar reward, she quickly comes to realize that she was childhood friends with his son, Davis Pickett. And so the story continues with Aza and her sidekick, Daisy, attempting to solve the mystery of the missing man all the while battling her disorder. Will they find Mr. Pickett?

I would easily rate this book a 5/5. While I am a fan of many John Green books, this has been one of my favorites out of those that I have read. The story is very light-hearted and sweet, with moments that showcase the intense reality of OCD and anxiety. Green did a fantastic job of integrating such a real and important topic so seamlessly into this book and allowing it to relate to readers who may deal with similar struggles, while also educating those who are unfamiliar with the topic. While doing this, he creates an inspiring and jovial story of friends trying to solve a local mystery and growing along the way both in friendships as well as within themselves.

Whether you are a fan of John Green’s books or not, I would highly suggest this book for anyone searching for a fun and relaxed mystery that has the ability to teach you a lot about others and about life.