Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

In between my busy #blogtour reading, I am still trying to get through my TBR list for. I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 40 books for the year and I am making steady progress.

Today I bring you  review of a book I read within just a few days; a story that I can’t quite get out of my head. 

But before I get down to my review, here is a little bit about the author.

The Author


John Michael Green is an American author, vlogger, writer, producer, actor, editor, and educator

John Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery.

In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green’s career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also co-authored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, “Brotherhood 2.0,” where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called “The Vlog Brothers,” which can be found on the Nerd fighters website, or a direct link here.

Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Sarah Urist Green, whom he married on May 21, 2006.

Book 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.

My Review

I found it difficult to get into this book at first; I didn’t understand Aza’s character, but I think that comes from how well the book is written. The complex feelings and mental anxieties were written clearly and the reason why I found it so hard to read at first is because I don’t understand mental illness as much as I should. This book is a real eye-opener into the world of OCD and although I don’t suffer with the same disorder; I could relate to some of the main characters anxieties. The words flowed very well and I found myself wanting to reach into the pages and give Aza a big hug; the burden she has to live with on a daily basis was evident and I felt her pain resonate from the pages.

John Green took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was laughing at the character interaction between Aza and her best friend, Daisy. And then I was crying at how much Aza’s character was fighting a lonely battle with her inner demon. It was heart-wrenching at times and I hoped for a quick fix for her, but as I found out, that’s not easy with mental illness. There is a part of me that was disappointed with how the story ended and I was going to leave this story 4/5 but I now realise that Aza’s battle with her demon would be long-lasting. There is no fast cure for what she feels and we were left knowing that she would go on fighting way after the last turn of the page.

There were some comical character interactions between Daisy and Aza which helped to throw in some lighter moments to the quite ‘harrowing’ read. The characters are brilliantly written and likeable. I love that each character has their own feel to them and I read with both tears in my eyes and a smile on my face.

With every spiral that Aza battled I felt every twist and turn and understood the intensity of struggle to remain normal and to ignore her invasive thoughts; especially when she tries to have a romantic relationship with Davis.

All in all, this book was a very interesting read and I can see how it could help a lot of people who are in the same boat as our main character. Even if it gives them words to show their family/friends so they can get a better understanding of what they go through.

I would highly recommend this book!


I have been excited to read this book for a while now and during the first few pages I actually wondered whether I would enjoy reading it. Then I let myself try to understand Aza’s mental illness more and with each page I was opened up more to what people with OCD must go through and as I said previously, it really was an eye-opener. The story was easy to read and I came away still with it in my mind. When a book stays with you way after the last full-stop then you know it was a good one! John Green did a fantastic job; not only has he raised awareness, he has also brought us another loveable character. Like with his other works, I hope to see this on the big screen one day. 

So, re-thinking my earlier premature rating….I now going to give this 5 out of 5!

Thanks for reading Guys!

S x


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