Monday, February 12, 2018

Review: Turtles All the Way Down

Title: Turtles All the Way Down 
Series: None 
Author: John Green 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: October 10, 2017 
Source: Gifted. Thank you!

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.

Find Turtles All the Way Down online!
I really didn't plan to read this book.  The only John Green book I've read and liked was The Fault in Our Stars and even with that, the like kinda wore off after a while.  However, there was tons of hype surrounding this book and a couple of my friends were reading it and saying good things so I decided to pick it up!  While I liked it more than I anticipated, there were still so many things about it that bothered me.

Something I've noticed in all John Green books is the super . . . philosophical and introspective voice.  While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I have come to the realization that I do not like this writing style at all.  For one, it gets a little boring after reading book after book with the same voice.  It's like each character in his novels is the exact same person with the exact same voice.  Also, while I'm sure there are exceptions, I have never in my life met a teenager -- let alone an adult -- that thinks this philosophically every single moment like the main character, Aza does.  It made me roll my eyes reading that throughout the entirety of the novel.

Another thing I didn't really like (I swear, I did like some things . . . I'll get to those later) was the plot line with the missing billionaire.  I honestly feel so cheated being invested in that storyline because it went absolutely nowhere.  The book would have been better had they just cut that entire section and only followed Aza, Davis, and their friends.  To be fair though, I didn't really like the characters much.  Aza and Davis were pretentious and unrealistic, and Aza's friend Daisy was terrible toward Aza and made some very hurtful and rude comments about Aza's anxiety.  

Okay, aspects I did like: I thought the portrayal of Aza's anxiety was incredibly realistic and well-written.  As someone who also deals with anxiety, it was nice to read about a character who has a similar thought process and feelings.  I really liked that it wasn't something that just miraculously stopped -- Aza dealt with and will deal with it for the rest of her life and that life will still be awesome and worth living.  

For the most part, this book led to a lot of scoffing, eye rolling, and laughing if I'm being totally honest.  The characters just didn't click with me and I found the writing style to be a bit pretentious and not very fun to read.  However, the anxiety representation was realistic and well-thought out and written.  While not my favorite novel, I don't regret reading it!

“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.” 

Three Teapots 

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