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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down (edition 2017)

by John Green (Author)

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2,4731313,871 (4.03)71
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. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza's story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.--INSIDE FLAP.… (more)
Title:Turtles All the Way Down
Authors:John Green (Author)
Info:Dutton Books for Young Readers (2017), Edition: Signed First Edition Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Recently added byShahnareads, becca14, DakotaS, princess.enzo, philantrop, shermmms, private library, SusieGCG
  1. 40
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (chwiggy)
  2. 20
    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. 10
    Paper Towns by John Green (chwiggy)

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Asa Holmes has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Mostly it's obsessive thinking and she pinches her thumb area causing it to bleed and require a band-aid, but more importantly when it heals she still obsessively cleans it. His obsessive thoughts involve getting C. Diff, a bacteria that get inside your system usually because you stayed at a hospital or took antibiotics, but this doesn't necessarily have to be true. In rare cases, you can just get it and Asa is obsessed with getting it among other things.

Asa's best friend since childhood is Daisy who writes fan fiction about Star Wars characters Rey and Chewbacca being in a love relationship. Daisy comes from a poorer family and she is the talker of the relationship. It's Daisy's idea to go snooping at Davis Picket's house. His dad skipped town with charges pending on him and there's a reward of $100,000 for information leading to his capture. Asa remembers that Davis had put stop motion cameras in the back of the house and the police probably don't know about them. So she and Daisy sneak on the grounds and download the digital files off of the camera and one of them is of a man leaving the grounds that way. They're about to get caught so Daisy smashes their boat and pretends that they came there for help.

Remeeting Davis after all those years ago when they saw each other at Sad Camp for those who had lost a parent, Asa, her father, and Davis, his mother brings back happy memories of the camp where Asa had a crush on Davis. Asa will come over again to hang out and she will ask Davis about the evidence and how he would feel if she and Daisy would turn it in. So Davis gives them $100,000 from his father's many stashes that he has around the house. It's the only way he can be sure she isn't after his money and he won't betray him.

Davis has a younger brother Noah who is getting into trouble at school because he believes that it will bring their dad home. Davis is trying to raise his brother with the help of a paid housekeeper and a lawyer handling the money, but it isn't easy. Davis is fascinated with astronomy and points out things in the sky to Asa. Asa tries to be a girlfriend to Davis but kissing makes her think of all his microbes entering her body and invading it and she can't handle it. So they hold hands instead even though both of them want to kiss each other.

Things will take a turn for the worse in Daisy and Asa's friendship as their true feelings become evident and something Asa didn't know about comes to light. Will their friendship survive this calamity? What about Asa and Davis? Can they continue going the way they are? John Green really captures what it's like to have OCD. Asa is a wonderful character and her friend Daisy is a good compliment to her. Davis is sweet and understanding to a degree, but he wants more from her than she is capable of giving perhaps. Her mom is obsessed with her obsessiveness which is almost funny in a sad way. Asa dreams of going away to college but she realizes that that probably isn't realistic. That she'll probably live with her mom for a long while. That's hard to come to terms with as a teen. This book is amazing to read and explores mental illness and how it affects those around them. I give it five out of five stars.


But I was beginning to to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 1)

Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 9)

“It’s just weird how this is decided by someone I don’t know and then I have to live by it. Like, I live on someone else’s schedule. And I’ve never even met them.” “Yes, well, in that respect and many others, American high schools do rather resemble prisons.” My eyes widened. “Oh my God, Mom, you’re so right. The metal detectors. The cinder-block walls.” “They’re both overcrowded and underfunded,”Mom said. “And both have bells that ring to tell you when to move.” “And you don’t get to choose when you eat lunch,” I said. “And prisons have power-thirsty corrupt guards, just like schools have teachers.”

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 11-12)

The whole problem with boys is that ninety-nine percent of them are, like okay. If you could dress and hygiene them properly, and make them stand up straight and listen to you and not be dumbasses, they’d be totally acceptable.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 41)

Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 52)

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustainable I am, the more I will respect myself.

-Charlotte Bronte

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

-William James

“Ugh, God, now this guy is saying I write bestiality.” “Wait, what?” “Because in my fic, Chewbacca and Rey were in love. He’s saying it is –and I am quoting—‘criminal’ because it’s interspecies romance. Not sex, even—I keep it rated Ten for the kids out there—just love.” “|But Chewbacca isn’t human,” I said. “It’s not a question of whether Chewie was human, Holmsey, it’s a question of whether he was a person. And he was obviously a person. Like, what even makes you a person? He had a body and a soul and feelings, and he spoke a language, and he was an adult, and if he and Rey were in hot, hairy, communicative love, then let’s just thank God that two consenting sentient adults found each other in a dark and broken galaxy.”

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 66)

“And why are you using the past tense?” “Because all of this happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Holmsy. You always use the past tense when talking Star Wars. Duh.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 67)

I feel like I might be driving the bus of my consciousness.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 86)

One of the challenges with pain—physical of psychic—is that we can really only approach it through metaphor. It can’t be represented the way a table or a body can. In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 89)

Your now is not forever.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 93)

Star Wars is the American religion.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 96)

The question is not yet settled whether madness is to is not loftiest intelligence.

-Edgar Allan Poe

What I love about science is that as you learn, you don’t really get answers. You just get better question.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 177)

Even the silence/ has a story to tell you.

-Jacqueline Woodson

You know Sejou Sundiata, in a poem, he saidthe most important part of the body “aint the heart or the lungs or the brain. The biggest, most important part of the body is the part that hurts.”

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 224)

Actually, the problem is that I can’t lost my mind. It’s inescapable.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 240)

People talk like there’s a bright line between imagination and memory, but there isn’t, at least not for me. I remember what I’ve imagined and imagine what I remember.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 271)

I missed everybody. To be alive is to be missing.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 281)

You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in the world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 285)

No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.

-John Green (Turtles All the Way Down p 286) ( )
  nicolewbrown | Oct 16, 2019 |
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 invasive thoughts. Sometimes distressing description of struggling with compulsions and repetitive thinking, but ultimately hopeful. ( )
  AccyP | Oct 12, 2019 |
“We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn't matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

I've always been a fan of John Green's books, but I think Looking for Alaska is still my favorite. There was just something about the story that's always stuck with me. Turtles All the Way Down was also really, really good. It taught me something about myself, and showed me a mindset I'll likely never experience.

Aza was a very compelling character. From the outside, she might come across as self-centered and oblivious to most things around her, but in reality she has an ongoing issue that she struggles with constantly. How would you deal with having something nag at you over and over again at the back of you mind, and never escaping it? She's a young girl struggling with herself and her thoughts, but also trying to navigate the life of a teenager.

I really enjoyed how John Green showed Aza battling with herself throughout the book. She has this voice in her head, her voice, so she cannot get away from it. It's always present, and frequently shouts at her to do things she knows are unreasonable. It's like she's both marionette and puppeteer. However, in her case the other thoughts usually win and she caves into her downward spiral.

Daisy was an awesome best friend. They had their moments, like all friendships do, but she's never wavered from Aza despite how difficult things could be. She understood that her friend was different, even if she couldn't grasp the extent and severity of it. Their "falling out" was probably one of my favorite parts. It allowed Aza to see how Daisy felt, and made her aware of thoughts and feelings she had previously missed.

Despite all of the problems Aza faces, John Green throws in a mystery to be solved. I liked how that tied everything together, and brought her closer to Davis. Davis was interesting all on his own, and seemed to share her knack for words and intriguing thoughts. He may not have had the same mental issues that Aza was dealing with, but he was going through a lot. He still viewed the world in a positive way, and I think his presence had a positive impact on Aza.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I might not have understood most of the Star Wars references, but it made me like Daisy even more!

Originally posted at Do You Dog-ear? on April 13, 2018.
( )
  doyoudogear | Oct 10, 2019 |
My opinion on this book is that it is John Green's masterpiece. I won't profess to be a Green expert, but anyone who has read his work knows his distinctive voice. Turtles is the first time he has ever published a book addressing one of his own greatest personal battles: OCD. Obviously, and admittedly by both Green himself and his book, every person experiences mental illness differently, but this story of one teenage girl's minute-by-minute battle with her demon in order to survive her life is ineffable to me. I could gush, but honestly anything I could say would fall flat: this book will touch everyone in a unique way. I highly recommend you discover that way for yourself. ( )
  katscribefever | Oct 10, 2019 |
If John Green never writes another book ever again I won't even be mad because I have this one to read a million times over and over again.

This is what it means to write for your own voice. Without naming what mental health problem Aza has, Green shows what it does and how it affects everyone around her. It's so hard to explain what goes on in the mind of someone struggling but he did it brilliantly. It's not easy to understand what someone is going through but all you can do is listen.
Love and friendship were big in this book and my heart burst as Aza grew closer to her best friend Daisy. We've all had those friendships where we wonder if we're good enough for that person or if it's too one-sided. No companionship is perfect but it can grow stronger and full of trust. And it's not like the thought of being loved by someone else hasn't crossed our mind before either. People with "baggage" always wonder will I ever be loved because I'm me?

This was such a great book to read after a heartbreak. No, the world doesn't magically fixed because a girl with OCD found out she's capable of love but it does make it seem a little bit brighter. ( )
  Jessika.C | Oct 6, 2019 |
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John Greenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rudd, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Man can do what he wills, but he cannot will what he wills. -Arthur Schopenhauer
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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.
No one ever says goodbye unless they want to see you again.
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