Top critical review
I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, and not the the one you tell.
Reviewed in India on 17 May 2018
Turtles All The Way Down - had been all over my Instagram and Facebook feed.
The story, narrated by a troubled Indianapolis girl, Aza Holmes, begins with a mystery. Aza along with her best friend, Daisy, decides to search for billionaire Russel Picket, who has gone missing, in hope of $10,000 reward money.
The first half, feels as though reading a mystery. But it becomes clear that Green's main focus is not the mystery - it is 16 years old, Aza's sufferings of intrusive thoughts. Her needling anxiety and compulsions. That little inner voice of doubt that causes her to question things she knows, until maybe she's not so sure. She is constantly grinding in spiral of her thoughts. Its bad and she is trying to be a good daughter to her single mother and a good friend to star war crazy best friend.
As Davis, the billionaire's son; and Aza grow closer, both struggle with questions about the meaning of life and the true nature of existence. Aza tries to help Davis deal with his feelings of abandonment. While, Davis tries to help Aza by understanding the intensity of her thought spirals, and helping her have the type of relationship she can handle, but as her problems deepen, no one can provide her any comfort.
Turtles All the Way Down is a look at living with mental illness. There's no sugar coating Aza's feelings, and how helpless and frustrating her illness is for her family and friends. It's also a look at just how much we need love, friendship, acceptance, and understanding, and how debilitating it can be to try and understand the challenges that life throws at us.
The only low point of the novel is the bizarre subplot of the missing billionaire.
I personally, could relate to Aza's intrusive spiral of thoughts.
It is different compared to John Green's other books - less about romance and more focused on the health of the protagonist.