SYNOPSIS: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. – via Goodreads
Yeah, uhm, this one was certainly not my favourite Green novel. I thoroughly enjoy his work, and some of it is definitely better than other stuff, but unfortunately this just wasn’t my jam. There was a lot to be appreciated in this book, to be sure, but for the most part, I found it to be rather bland and disappointing and really trying to be… I don’t know, too smart and sassy for its own good.
Turtles All The Way Down deals with a mentally ill main character, which is not something commonly handled in a book, and I thought Green did a great job bringing Aza and all her issues to life. There were times where her compulsion of picking open the callus on her finger and made it bleed made me squirm. Okay, not so much that as the rinsing it with clean alcohol over and over again. I could feel that burn. The mental illness issue is handled really well here – it never came across as just a ploy, or something Green is writing about because it is in vogue right now, or just to give us a quirky character, it comes across as genuine.
So while Aza is genuine mentally ill, as Daisy puts it, Aza is extremely selfish and closed off from the world. At times she is infuriating, at others you sort of get what is going on, so well scored there. That being said, the story was really just about Aza and her mental illness and dealing with it, but I thought we would get more. Davis is a character I enjoyed and really way more understanding than I expected, but overall each and every one of the characters, including Aza and the extreme attention to detail due to her condition, just felt empty. I know my opinion won’t be a popular one, but I wasn’t a fan of this.
Something that really got under my skin was Mychal’s name spelling. I swear to goodness, that is one of those new age things where names have to be quirky and unique, and these poor kids look like idiots. UGH. I mean my brother is a good, old fashioned Michael and it works just fine. Names deliberate being spelled differently really just… no. People, NO. STOP IT THIS INSTANCE! #VentOver
Turtles All The Way Down is a quick read that deals with some serious issues, but it definitely isn’t my favourite John Green novel, and not one I am sure I want to be rushing to reread.