Title: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
No. of pages: 286
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
Date Read: November 26, 2017
As Daisy switched the song to a romantic ballad that she and Mychal were singing, I started thinking about turtles all the way down. I was thinking that maybe the old lady and the scientist were both right. Like, the world is billions of years old, and life is a product of nucleotide mutation and everything. But the world is also the stories we tell about it. (Green 257)
Well, folks. John Green has done it again.
Turtles All the Way Down is a brilliant book that honestly shows the struggle of mental illness, anxiety, and OCD in Aza Holmes. I’ve never read a book that deals with the topic of mental illness, and did it well, until this book. As someone who deals with anxiety, this book accurately explains and describes what is often hard to describe. The way Aza’s thoughts intrude, the way she double checks her band aid, and her thought spirals were written so that someone not dealing with anxiety could begin to understand that sometimes you can’t help what happens in your head, especially when it seems out of, and beyond, your control.
Daisy, Aza’s best friend, was instrumental to me liking this book. Though Aza was a great main character, and storyteller, Daisy came to a close second of my favorites in this book. She obsessively ships Rey and Chewie from Star Wars, she’s unapologetically loud, and absolutely is a great friend for Aza. All throughout, she was constantly trying to understand what Aza was going through. She gave Aza space, talked when Aza couldn’t, brought her out of her thought spirals on occasion, and helped Aza get to a place where she noticed others in her life who cared about her, and that she needed to care for them as well.
The plot of this book definitely took the background, but it drove it enough to show how anxiety can take over and what it is like to deal with it.
If you know someone who has anxiety, if you’re a professional counselor (or dream of being one), if you work with teenagers, if you’re a human being, you need to read this book. At some point, this will definitely be added to my shelf as a resource for others.