Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – A Spoiler-Free Book Review

“I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.” ― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down


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.



Book: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Avg. Goodreads rating: 4.15/5 stars

My rating: 5/5 stars




Overview. The premise of Turtles All the Way Down was so intriguing to me, I was really excited to see where Green was going to take us and as a fan, this was definitely an auto-buy for me anyways. Aza has a lot going on in her life right now… one big thing being having to live with her anxiety. It affects her social and family life to a major degree and Green demonstrated the struggles so well. The plot line of this story focuses on a runaway billionaire, who Aza is familiar with the son of. It also follows her journey in mental health as another, not so visible plot line.

Pros. Mental Health. YA needs more well-written, and not so flowery, mental health books. Green has been very vocal about his own struggles with anxiety and mental health, so I was very excited to read a book on his take of anxiety and compulsions. Needless to say, Green did a fantastic job in encompassing the daily struggles that mental illnesses reap on its victims. I really found it fascinating going through the daily life of someone with anxiety and compulsions, as someone with friends with anxiety, I truly found it enlightening to what they are going through.

I absolutely loved seeing how the mental illness gets in the way of relationships throughout the book. No relationship (romantic or other) “fixed” Aza’s anxiety and I think that was one of the most important aspects of this book. So many times, our protagonist falls for someone who miraculously fixes their mental health issues. Not the case, y’all! Sometimes great relationships are more of a harm to mental illnesses than they are an aid.

I really enjoyed both plot lines of this book, the search for Davis’ father as well as Aza’s mental health journey. Both plots kept me intrigued throughout the whole book and made this a super easy and enjoyable read for me.

Cons. I don’t have much to say in this section for this book. Sometimes it felt a little winded and drug out, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book… I would be excited to see a John Green book with some older characters. I would just like to see what he could do in the New Adult genre perhaps…

Overall. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I enjoyed this book! I am a 50/50 Green fan, some books were just too much for me (Paper Towns) and some books I absolutely adore (TFiOS) so I was glad that I can add another Green book to a list of favorites. Overall, I gave this book a 5/5 stars.

5 thoughts on “Turtles All the Way Down by John Green – A Spoiler-Free Book Review

    1. I was so glad to have time to get to it, I was really happy with the read. I have seen quite a few not-so-good reviews but as I’m reading them, they mainly seem to come from pre-established non-John Green fans… so I’m glad I still picked it up.

      Liked by 1 person

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