Turtle’s All the Way Down is John Green’s latest novel, after The Fault in Our Stars.
Aza Holmes, along with her best friend Daisy, decide to search for billionaire Russell Pickett, missing and accused of fraud and bribery. A $100, 000 reward is being offered which inspires Daisy as Aza has a connection to Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
After meeting at a camp for children dealing with loss they bonded over the death of Davis’ mother and Aza’s father. Aza’s mental health starts deteriorating as she meets and starts to fall for Davis but Davis has his own problems. Still mourning the loss of his mother, he is in charge of his younger brother who still expects his father to return home. Davis struggles with his father’s disappearance as he debates whether he wants him to return or not.
I liked it! Though still cliched (ticks all teen fiction boxes while being super sentimental – we have gazing at the stars people!!) the telling of the story is different. And I wouldn’t normally have picked something up like this, but I did enjoy Paper Towns and the title actually intrigued me.
Aza is a likable character – even when she’s self-absorbed. I liked the geeky Star Wars vibe from Daisy, as she writes fan fiction in the universe. John Green touches a bit on their wealth differences when Daisy starts spending her money, which feels reflective of todays times. I enjoyed how Aza and Daisy fought, though it didn’t take over the book. Both looked at the other person’s point of view and made up, nice to be left at that with the reader seeing both sides of the argument.
John Green doesn’t like the boy and girl to end up together though which is quite refreshing! They just form a special relationship at one point in their lives which is poignant. The way they interacted through text was interesting. Also seeing how Aza does better through words and Davis through real life actions.
The main focus is not the mystery but how Aza interacts. Aza’s thought processes are really descriptive so it’s easy to put yourself in her shoes. The reference to going down the spiral was a great way to put her thinking, though a little repetitive. I liked the way Aza explains her thoughts to the reader and also to her friends. The interaction from both Davis and Daisy about helping Aza is sad but true. Covering the helplessness and acknowledgment of her struggles. We learn that there is no better, just being able to function.
Three pegs! Would definitely read again.
If you enjoyed Turtle’s you might like my review of Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple