Hello beautiful! Today I’m going to review my latest read, Turtles All The Way Down by John Green. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve read anything all the way through. Life has kinda been smacking me in the face as of late and I’ve had little to no motivation, which is just ✨so fun✨. I think school has just left me with some burnout issues. Anyway, enough about me, onto the review!
I’m not a big John Green fan to begin with. I read The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska, and I found the writing a bit pretentious and his plot lines very similar. I can totally understand why people like them, but they’re not my cup of tea. Romance isn’t my favorite genre anyway. That said, I do enjoy the ideas he explores in his books, and the way we get to know the characters.
Spoilers are in white, highlight with your cursor to read 😉
Without further ado, here’s my review~
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
I liked most of the characters in this book. The main character, in particular, was especially relatable for more. Her anxiety manifested in ways very similar to mine (except I’m not a germaphobe). Aza’s intrusive thoughts and struggle to find her true self mirrored thoughts and issues I’ve faced. Spoilers: I feel like Aza’s character arc was never completed, though. She never did come to realize the truth, her life only ever seems to be “bad” and “worse.” She isn’t ever truly happy. I know that a lot of us feel this way at times, but I truly believe that happiness (or joy, more accurately) is a choice. Sometimes it’s hard to make that choice, but I think it is possible. Aza never really seems to try and get better, she just wallows in the fact that things are bad. I completely understand how difficult it can be to make those decisions, but I think John Green has a duty as an author who influences his readers to give them hope to overcome mental illness. I don’t think that hope was there in this story. *End of spoilers.*
I never connected or related with any of the other characters. I didn’t even like most of them. Aza’s best friend said some incredibly damaging things, and her reaction to Aza’s mental illness was horribly insensitive and rude. She’s nowhere near a proper friend, and I find it hard to believe that a real person, especially someone so close to the MC, would behave that way.
The love interest was okay. I felt like their romance was boring at best. They just seemed like friends who were trying to distract each other from their lives. His character felt stereotypical, though we did see him being very compassionate with his brother.
This is where the book really fell flat for me. The plot was supposed to be about a mystery, but it barely got any screen (page?) time. I was uninvested in the outcome and felt like the story’s true plot was supposed to be Aza’s character development. Spoilers: Her personal plot isn’t even satisfying or completed. It’s just very mediocre. End of spoilers.
It wasn’t satisfying. I’ll leave it at that.
I do enjoy John Green’s writing style in some ways. He explains emotions and internal thoughts very well. His characters feel fleshed out (well, most of them), and his stories are easy to follow. He brings up some important ideas, like what makes us human and how we know who we really are. However, he sometimes gives me this feeling like he’s trying to be “deep” and “intellectual” when it isn’t necessary. This pretentious attitude can detract from the story for me.
There is some swearing, including s***, d***, and f***. Jesus’ name is also used as a swear word. I remember a few sexual innuendos, but the most we actually read about was heavy kissing.
Aesthetic and Colors
This book felt grey and green to me. It is contemporary fiction, with a little romance, so I recommend if you’re looking for something that will make you think but that isn’t hard to follow. Don’t expect a strong conclusion.
I recommend chocolate and potato chips, a good mixture of salty and sweet.
This book was less stereotypical than the other John Green books I’ve read, but it left me feeling defeated. It portrayed the world in a hopeless way. I think it just missed the mark for me. The ending was not bittersweet, just bitter. It may have to do with a difference in worldview, but I feel like Green missed a chance to show some truth about the nature of humanity here. Some people may enjoy it, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Have you read this book or anything by John Green? Did you like it? Do you agree with any of my thoughts? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to discuss!
Have an adventurous day 🙂