My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.01 with 184,627 ratings (as of 1/23/2019)
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. …more
200 Word Review
John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down” introduces us to sixteen-year-old Aza, a teenage girl with mental health issues who is desperate to blend in and just be a normal teenage girl. After giving in to Daisy’s, her best friend, nagging, the two girls attempt to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Russell Pickett and collect the reward. Aza was not planning on connecting back with Davis, Russell’s son, whom she knew when they were kids, but she does.
Of course, there is romance, but it is not the focus of the story. It is more than just a typical YA romance novel. It deals with handling mental illness, going to counseling, thinking you are crazy, and knowing your uncontrollable behaviors are not normal. It is about trying to manage the pressures of being a teenager – family, school, friends, and a boy.
John Green’s novels have probably touched as many people today as had John Hughes’s movies in the 80s. He focuses on real teenage problems and allows a glimpse inside their thoughts and feelings. He allows young adults to realize they are not alone, that others feel the same way, and “Your now is not your forever.”