Title: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Pages: 286 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Books

The Blurb

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.

The Review

Turtles All the Way Down is a brave novel.

I say this for many reasons. The first reason being that this book is the first release from John Green since the epically successful The Fault in Our Stars; comparisons are bound to happen. People may have been expecting another gut wrenching tearjerker or to be completely emotionally immersed into the characters world in the same way as before. The second reason is that John Green has chosen to tackle a topic that is so on trend at the moment – this being mental health – that the worry is that he isn’t going to do it justice. Other writers’ may do it better. However, John Green needn’t have worried.

Turtles All the Way Down, as I said before, is brave. Having read many stories based on mental health I can genuinely say that I felt Aza’a compulsions. Her obsession with things that she cannot control became oppressive and you found yourself feeling both sorry for her but also understanding her need.

Furthermore, what John Green did (which is often missed out of the stories I have read previously) he discussed how hard mental illness is on those around the sufferer. He didn’t make the story evenly balanced because essentially it is Aza’s issue but we saw how the people who cared about her struggle – her mum not wanting to lose her, her best friend Daisy always feeling a few steps behind and her would be boyfriend Davis who can’t get as close as he would like to Aza.

So, Turtles All the Way Down is nothing like The Fault in Our Stars and if you are expecting it to be the same or similar then you may be disappointed. Taken as a separate entity, then John Green has written a really impressive and stark story about mental health.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is available now.

For more information regarding John Green please visit www.johngreenbooks.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books (@PenguinTeen) please visit www.penguinteen.com.

4 Stars

Synopsis

After being dumped by the 19th Katherine in his life, Colin – along with best friend Hassan – decide to take a road trip to help with the emotion recovery of his recent heartbreak. Along the way, Colin – a child prodigy – decided to try and find a mathematic equation to help plot the course of true love. The boys end up in a podunk town where Colin discovers that everything that he thought he knew – especially the things he thought about himself – are not as black and white as he has grown up to believe.

Review

Ok. I admit it. I jumped on the bandwagon. When I read The Fault in Our Stars last year I pretty much purchased every book that John Green had written. Then, in true Lisa style, I put them on my kindle bookshelf and let them accrue layers of metaphorical dust whilst I read a lot of other books but due to my 100 book challenge this book, An Abundance of Katherines, has made it to the forefront and I have now read it. Hazzah.

For those of you wanting to read it (for the same reason or personal reasons of your own) then I will issue you with a warning. This book is nothing like The Fault in Our Stars. If you are looking for a similar read then you have picked up the wrong book. Of course, An Abundance of Katherines does have the inimitable John Green dry humour and wit but it deals less with health woes and more with the woes of being a teenage boy dealing with heartbreak.

For me, one of the great things about this book is the friendship between Colin and Hassan. I felt that there was a silly verisimilitude to their friendship. The way that they mocked each other, they could be angry at each other but they could also be honest and tell each other that they loved or were hurt by the others actions. The story was more enjoyable because of their banter.

I really liked An Abundance of Katherines. Even though my reasons for reading it were admittedly flawed, what I liked about it was that it was so different from The Fault in Our Stars. It probably goes without saying that John Green is one of the definitive voices for a YA generation. What may have been said is that he is literatures equivalent to John Hughes. He just gets how tough it is to be young.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is available now.

You can follow John Green on Twitter @RealJohnGreen

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