Turtles All the Way Down Review

In the past, John Green has been infamous for his popular love stories and strong metaphors toward life. Back in 2014, “The Fault in Our Stars” gained popularity and has since been his staple for his style. However, out of all his works, his newest book “Turtles All the Way Down” showcases a teen’s struggle with mental illness in a very real way.

Aza Holmes, a 16 year old high school student, is beginning treatment for OCD. Her narrative provides insight to her everyday life and how her severe mental illness has affected it. She continues to try and live her life to a normal degree with her friends who do not suffer from mental illness.

One thing that I thought was interesting about Green’s novel was the focus. Green has been known to write about love stories; however, “Turtles” is set as a mystery. Aza and her best friend Daisy get caught up with the disappearance of her wealthy neighbor. Though there is slight romance, it doesn’t dominate the plot. This change has highlighted a whole other side and style for Green, which I believe is a step in the right direction.

Another aspect was Green’s ability to portray the everyday struggle with mental illness. Not everyone has the same experience, and being able to clearly communicate the feelings and thoughts Aza had in her low moments truly connected with me. The authenticity of his writing is able to convey the reality of how people struggle with mental illness, which sometimes gets portrayed as exaggerated or false.

Green was able to compel me because his characters were so relatable. As someone who has mental illness, it’s hard to find that character that embodies what it’s truly like to go through mental illness. I appreciate that in this current day authors are putting an effort to see that representation from all groups.

The transition from Green’s typical love story to a mystery based plot is refreshing to his readers. The stray from his forte will hopefully be a new style for Green and his readers.

I strongly recommend to read “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green because it provides a refreshing narrative about mental health and shows a new style of Green. I hope that in the future Green can continue to embrace new plots and bold characters as it provides an interesting narrative for his audiences.