Review: Turtles All The Way Down, by John Green


Turtles All The Way Down, John Green 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.

Title: Turtles All The Way Down
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: 10th October 2017
Pages: 292
ISBN: 9780241335437

Rating: 5stars


“Actually, the problem is that I can’t lose my mind,” I said. “It’s inescapable.”

I immediately avoid all the books I’ve seen blaze up the #bookstagram hashtag, including this one. I’m not quite sure why – maybe I’m scared the story won’t live up to the hype? Or, in my feeble way, I try to be ‘different’ by reading something else.

Whatever the reason, I should have learnt how silly I’m being by now. Turtles All The Way Down is the third book I’ve picked up later on and wished I hadn’t been so stubborn. I would have loved to delve into the thoughts of other readers on this read. Because…


As with the other “hyped” books I’ve read, I listened to this on audiobook. For some reason I think it’s a safer bet to go audio for books I’m not sure of… I have no idea why, I spend as much a month on an audiobook as I would a paperback!

“Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.”

Anywhoo, back to the book! I must admit the narrator’s voice got to me at times – it was a little too robotic. I get she sort of needs to be, but it really jarred. I couldn’t connect with her as well…

…Which, on second thought, was probably on purpose too. Whatever. The audiobook is awesome. But I think the real thing (by real I mean the actual, physical, turn-the-pages-yourself book) would be a completely different and, dare I say it, better experience.

But the story?

This is my third introspective novel so far this year, pretty much in a row (it wasn’t intentional, promise!). Each have hit a different spot but Turtles All The Way Down, especially, connected.

“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

John Green might not be a ‘favourite’ author per se, but I can’t help but love everything I’ve ever read (or listened to) of his. And I’ve read quite a few! He has this incredible ability of depicting internal turmoil, especially at such a volatile age. I mean, we’ve all been there to some degree – I don’t think you ever really finish growing up or ‘finding yourself’. But with this book, I found myself connecting to a wholly unexpected character.


Her struggle to help her friend, to understand her, to talk through the pain or chatter away to take Aza’s mind off her problems. To be her biggest supporter, despite having her own internal struggles. To stay there even when Aza doubts her friendship – it all hit a chord.

The fierce loyalty, the ‘I will maim you if you harm her’ type love that Daisy has is something I feel for my closest friends. And I couldn’t help but become more protective over Aza because of it.

“You pick your endings, and your beginnings. You get to pick the frame, you know? Maybe you don’t choose what’s in the picture, but you decide the frame.”

And if the plot and the characters weren’t enough already, it was the ending that really got me. Turtles All The Way Down ends in a way I didn’t expect… at all… but it worked so, so, well.

“Your now is not your forever.”

We all fall into our own spirals from time to time. Yet we always make it back out, even if it’s to fall back in again the next day. But it is the friendships we forge that are the real saviours. Some last a day, others the rest of your life.

An easy breezy 5*s and a plea for everyone to read this. And then read Looking for Alaska, and The Fault in Our Stars, and all his other novels too. I definitely will be!

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