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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
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Turtles All the Way Down

by John Green

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,598926,559 (4.07)57
  1. 10
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (chwiggy)
  2. 10
    Looking for Alaska by John Green (MarchingBandMan)
    MarchingBandMan: The other quasi-existentialist John Green book. Miles Halter deals with existentialism/nihilism in a different way than Aza Holmes, yet this earlier, rawer YA novel expounds on similar themes.
  3. 00
    Paper Towns by John Green (chwiggy)
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» See also 57 mentions

English (87)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (92)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
I wonder what John Green was like as a teenager. In his latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down, Green gives us an autobiographical peek into his own psyche through his character’s internal and external dialogs. I don’t know very many 16-year-olds that casually throw around references to the Tempest and Descartes, classic blues and Black Flag. I would have yearned to join their group when I was a teen (but doubt I would have been clever enough). Still, Green employs his typical witty banter and snarky asides to flesh out the ambiguous relationships between characters, making them acceptably realistic. He develops his narrator, Aza Holmes, as a conduit for a series of philosophical musings that do not resemble any exchanges ever overheard in the average High School. The fact that she is such an absorbing creation is mostly due to Green’s unique personal insight into Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (OCD). Aza’s struggles and dissociation are so genuine because it mirrors his own experience. It is not difficult to recognize the typical self-consciousness and emotional tsunami that are common among “cool nerd” teens. To compound this, Aza cannot escape her own constant self-monitoring, compulsions and resulting shame. She attempts to forge connections with her friends and retain a semblance of normalcy as she battles an illness that is often all-encompassing. This book would satisfy Green’s typical fans and may attract some new ones to his work as well. ( )
  jnmegan | Jul 31, 2018 |
I know a couple of OCD sufferers and this book depicts very well how they and those around them struggle with the condition. I only wish Green had trusted in his ability to write an engaging character study of a person with OCD and had not inserted a half-hearted and half-baked storyline about a missing billionaire, his lizard and his sons. I assume that crap is intended to make the book more attractive for a movie option. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
this was an excellent, shaking portrayal of aza's anxiety and OCD. it really was.
but ultimately, this book lacks everything else that should make it a good one. there's no real story. the characters are two-dimensional and i didn't care about them even though i really tried. the writing is philosophical to the point of pretentiousness.
this is a john green book with a john green story and john green characters. i expected all of this, but i was still hoping for more: for a change.
and here's what's possibly the worst part of it all: the john green formula always involves straight, white, mostly well-off kids, and that's not gonna change. so here we have the currently biggest YA author with a massive following, read by teens across the globe, and he's unable to represent them diversely. this, to me, is just unacceptable. ( )
  nimbon | Jul 24, 2018 |
Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green, or: This YA Book Made This Grown-Ass Woman Cry It Was So Freaking Good.

"It's like, when I look into myself, there's no actual me -- just a bunch of thoughts and behaviors and circumstances. And a lot of them just don't feel like they're mine. They're not things I want to think or do or whatever. And when I look for the, like, Real Me, I never find it. It's like those nesting dolls, you know? The ones that are hollow, and then when you open them up, there's a smaller doll inside, and you keep opening hollow dolls until eventually you get to the smallest one, and it's solid all the way through. But with me, I don't think there is one that's solid. They just keep getting smaller."

Aza's situation, and this quote in particular, just really got to me. My circumstances are different, but I definitely related to her struggle, and how she sort of goes through this grieving process where she realizes that there is no Real Aza, and you can never fully separate your True Self from your mental illness. This is the book I wish I had when I was a teen. ( )
  captainmander | Jul 19, 2018 |
I was hoping for another Fault in the Stars when I began this book. But it wasn't. I didn't find the plot very engaging or the characters well developed. I did come away with a better appreciation of mental illness and OCD. But with the way the book began and the premise of going on a hunt for a missing billionaire, I expected a bit more action. ( )
  christinegrabowski | Jul 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
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Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills. -Arthur Schopenhauer
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To Henry and Alice
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At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School, where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time -- between 12:37 P.M. and 1:14 P.M. -- by forces so much large than myself that I couldn't even begin to identify them.
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No one ever says goodbye unless they want to see you again.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.… (more)

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