There are times when you pick up a book at the exact time you need it. This was one of those times, and this was one of those books. In John Green's Turtles All the Way Down, we meet Aza, a sixteen year old consumed by anxiety and obsessive compulsive thoughts, feeling forced by her own brain to focus on the bacteria that surround her and the bacteria she knows are inside her, an absolute all-consuming compulsion that compels her to reopen a cut on her fingerpad over and over to make sure it is clean and not infected. When a billionaire goes missing, on the run because of shady things he's done with his money, Aza finds herself and her best friend drawn into the mystery, because of the reward, but also because of Aza's past connection with the fugitive's son, Davis. As Aza is drawn into the seemingly infinite and and completely overwhelming spirals of her own mind, she struggles to hold onto herself and the relationships she has formed. Aza is so so painfully and amazingly real. Green has done a masterful and important thing by making her the first person narrator of her own story. I needed and need Aza, as I am sure so many readers did and do. I picked this book up not only because of glowing recommendations from people I care about, but also because I needed it. I am in the midst of my own work on my own anxiety disorder and depression, especially following the loss of my beloved dog, and while it is nowhere near where Aza finds herself, there is still so much in the book I could relate to, so much I needed to hear put into words. Green understands it so well because he's been there, and is still there, and this allows him to write with such honesty. He tells a story that needs to be told, because it makes all of us out there who can relate feel and know we are not alone. And that there is nothing to be ashamed of, no need to hide--a best-selling author has put out a best-selling book that tells our truth--and who we are is important, and valid, and makes us no less than anyone around us. It is so rare to find a book that you keep nodding your head along to, that you feel every word in your heart, that resonates so strongly, and that makes you feel uplifted in your soul. This was one of those books for me. I recommend it with my whole heart, and with my spiraling, but beautiful, mind.
About This Item
"So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung." - The New York Times Named a best book of the year by: The New York Times, NPR, TIME, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly, Southern Living, Publishers Weekly, BookPage, A.V. Club, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and many more! JOHN GREEN, the acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, returns with a story of shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship. Aza Holmes never intended to pursue the disappearance 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 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.“Wrenching and revelatory.” An instant #1 bestseller, the widely acclaimed Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's brilliant and shattering new novel.
Featured on 60 Minutes, Fresh Air, Studio 360, Good Morning America, The TODAY Show
“A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control.” – People
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.
Penguin Young Readers Group
|Number of Pages|
Turtles All the Way Down
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
8.63 x 5.88 x 1.06 Inches
Customer reviews & ratings
There are times when y...
Aza Holmes suffers fro...
Aza Holmes suffers from anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), convinced that powerful bacteria have infested her body and will kill her. On good days, she's a typical if somewhat introverted adolescent. But when intrusive thoughts take over, she retracts into a thought spiral that even her best friend Daisy cannot penetrate. When this intrepid pair decides to investigate the disappearance of a billionaire businessman, Aza reconnects with the man's son Davis, whom she met at a summer camp several years before. Their childhood bonds develop into something stronger, but Aza finds it nearly impossible to conduct herself in ways that teens would consider "normal." Her friendship with Daisy also begins to suffer, and Aza's mom is worried sick about her. John Green has previously demonstrated masterful ability to capture the adolescent psyche; here, the storylines of amateur sleuthing and romance are appealing and fun to read. But in Turtles all the Way Down, Green also writes from compelling personal experience, showing what it's like to live with OCD and its impact both on the individual and everyone they care about. Much of this story is told from inside Aza's head, complete with competing internal monologues. When Aza begins to lose her grip, Green delivers a dramatic and emotional account of OCD's complete control over Aza, and it's like you're right there in the middle of it with her. With Turtles all the Way Down, John Green is doing important consciousness-raising about the crippling nature of OCD, anxiety, and other mental illnesses which are too often hidden from view. Reading this has made me more aware of anxiety-related behaviors in people I care about, and more sympathetic to what may be going on inside of them.
The way he talked abo...
"The way he talked about thoughts was the way I experienced them -- not as a choice but as a destiny. Not a catalog of my consciousness but a refutation of it." "I like short poems with weird rhyme schemes, because that's what life is like." Aza is sixteen and suffers from OCD. She and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, happen upon some information relating to the disappearance of a local billionaire and decide to investigate. After all, there is a $100K reward for information leading to his whereabouts and subsequent prosecution for illegal financial activity. Their adventure leads them to the billionaire's son, Davis, who has been left to care for his younger brother. The plot shifts then; the search for the billionaire father is somewhat tabled and the developing relationships among these young people becomes much more the focus. The mystery of the missing man lurks in the background and serves as an anchor around which the story can spiral but this is not a mystery story. It's a rich story of life as a teenager and a compassionate portrayal of mental illness. All these teenagers are smart. All of them have lost parents. And all of them are good-hearted and all of them are confused by the crazy adult world swirling around them. Aza's narrative voice is compelling, her terror at the thought of succumbing to some terrible infection and her inability to stop. thinking. about. it! is so brilliantly presented by Green. Daisy is clever and direct and hilarious. She's exactly the best friend anyone would want to have. And Davis is a lonely young man isolated from the world by his father's wealth. I couldn't put this book down. I absolutely loved it.
Almost against her wil...
Almost against her will, Aza is dragged into the mystery of a missing billionaire, all while managing her anxiety and finding her way through the confusing territory of first love. Well, first of all, it's John Green. So, if you have read and enjoyed more than one of his books, you'll probably want to read this one, too. I'm a fan, obviously -- but I also think that this one is perhaps Green's most honest work to date. One criticism that I've read of Green's work is that the characters don't speak like normal teens, but I didn't feel that that was the case in this book -- sure, they have the occasional esoteric discussion of human consciousness and great literature, but that didn't overwhelm the story for me, in this case. I also appreciate the way Green handles the main character's mental illness. Highly recommended.
This novel was absolut...
This novel was absolutely beautiful. As usual, John Green does not disappoint. For someone who does not generally enjoy romance or too much YA in my literary diet, I could not eat this up more. I work as a therapist for individuals with mental health. It is often very difficult for people to put into words what they are experiencing. But, John/Aza captures it perfectly. So many novels glorify mental illness, make it sound quirky or interesting. But, in reality it is draining to you and your friends and keeps you from pursuing your dreams. You may have all the tools in your toolbox and it's still impossible to overcome, the idea of medication being terrifying, but the idea of being stagnant can be even worse. The only thing I would have wanted to know more about is what lead to Aza developing OCD. The book is extremely well written and entertaining. There are fun facts at every corner and quotes to make your think. I always love a book that makes me want to stop and copy down paragraphs, ideas, or quotes to remember to go back to as much as I want to keep reading. I just hope it won't be too long before johns next book. Any hope for a non-YA book?
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