Book review: ‘Turtles all the way Down’

John Green published his newest, and very anticipated, book called “Turtles all the way Down.” This book was very anticipated amongst fans devoted to Green’s past books such as “Fault in our Stars,” “Looking for Alaska” and “Paper Towns.”

There are some differences in this novel compared to the other Green books, like a lack of character development. Compared to some of Green’s other novels, “Turtles all the way Down” has the same basic plot: girl meets boy, and girl wants to be with boy. Then, girl can’t be with boy because of a tragic situation, and girl gets boy until something tragic happens that breaks them apart. In “Turtles all the way Down” the main character, Aza, encounters an old friend from camp named Davis in a situation that would ultimately redefine a new friendship.

In most of Green’s other novels the mysteries involve a teen suffering a terminal illness, running away, or dying. What sets Green’s new novel apart from his others is Davis’s father runs away from a crime he had just committed, and unlike Green’s other books, the tragedy is centered around a parent.

In “Turtles all the way Down,” Aza continuously talks about her mental illness being like a spiral that gets tighter and tighter, the spiral representing her mental sanity. One of the main issues Aza worries about is a disease called Clostridium Difficile, which is a disease contracted most commonly  in hospitals or through infections. This disease drives Aza to continuously reopen cuts to drain them of blood to keep infections away or from entering her bloodstream. Aza lives at home with her mother but without her father.

When Davis and Aza first meet it had been least seven years since their camp days together, and they only meet because Aza and her friend Daisy want to help find Davis’s father for the reward of $100,000. Aza and Daisy do not hail from wealthy families so the reward for finding Davis’s father would mean a lot to both of them. Aza and Davis start to talk and meet more frequently because of this and a love story seems to develope.

To keep Aza and Daisy from looking further into Davis’s father’s disappearance, Davis gives them a large sum of money, which fails to keep the two girls from looking. Throughout the novel the readers begin to learn more about why Aza’s dad is never in the picture. Since the beginning of the story, Aza always mentions her mom but when the topic of the father comes up the story feels suddenly very eerie and depressing. Aza always says how much she treasures her father’s phone and car. Davis and Aza sympathize with each other’s absent fathers.

“Turtles all the way Down” is a novel that does not show character development well because it never shows Aza’s disease or attitude change. This novel did a stellar job showing a bond form between two people who come from different worlds. Although Aza is non wealthy and lacks social skills, Davis while being extremely wealthy also lacks social skills and the two together develop ways to be together while still in their comfort zones. If one likes any of John Green’s other books one would enjoy “Turtles all the way Down.”

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