I don’t think I’ve bought, sat down and finished reading a book as quickly as I did with this one. Usually upon buying a book, I will find it a home on my bookshelf, and then hope that one day I shall get around to reading it. That was not the case this time. This time I started reading it immediately and two days later, hey-presto I had it done!
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. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
I’ve been waiting for a new John Green ever since I finished The Fault In Our Stars and to be honest I was expecting the same intensity of emotions this time around time, but they didn’t come, and in a way though I’m kind of glad though, because I don’t think I could have gone through that again. While Turtles doesn’t deal with the same topic, it still does have a serious theme to it, and that is mental health, which is thankfully being spoken about more and more these days, and the internet is being awesome as usual, and helping to bring that light about. You could say that Turtles All the Way Down is about a murder mystery, but it’s not. It’s about Aza and her ongoing battle with her mental health, and her inability to control her thoughts as they go over the top, almost driving her to insanity, to the point where she can’t even kiss a boy without freaking out.
While it could be said that this is just another one of your contemporary YA reads, which I’m sure many other readers and reviewers have said, its clear to see that John is also trying to break the mould with this one, trying to break out of the usual YA cliche’s and change things up a bit. For instance, while there is a huge love interest/relationship there with Aza and Davis, it also doesn’t have that happily ever after factor that most YA’s usually provide. There’s also the mental health issues, as Aza isn’t the only one who suffers, we see that Davis’s brother Noah is also going through something in the background which has come to the surface with the disappearance of his father.
Like I mentioned, Turtles didn’t have a huge emotional impact for me personally, but it did impact me on the mental health front. I think mental health is one of those things that gets hugely overlooked and its only in the past six months I’ve seen a surge in its awareness being brought to the headlines as well as looking at my own mental health (which you may have noticed in which I was absent here in my posting for a while).
Overall I was really impressed with the flow of the story, and the way all the character’s interacted. If I’m totally honest, I was a bit biased walking into this book to the point where I knew I was going to like it before I even started reading it. I’ve been a huge fan of John Green for almost three years now. I was a fan of both the movie and book version of The Fault in Our Stars and I sobbed like a baby at the end of both. John is an excellent writer and I think he can sit back and relax as he’s just released another excellent book to go along with the others, and I personally can’t wait until they announce a movie for this.