A Review of Turtles all the way down

In October, John Green’s newest novel “Turtles All the Way Down” was released. John Green is the award-winning author of “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Looking for Alaska,” both of which were on the New York Times bestseller list. Like his previous novels, “Turtles” delves into the life of a teenager with personality quirks, high intelligence and romantic ideals, but it is so much more than that.

Aza Holmes is a teenager who struggles with severe OCD. She struggles to function like a normal person. She is highly intelligent, idealistic and selfish. Accompanied by her air-headed, funny, and carefree friend Daisy, they are tasked to solve a mystery. A local billionaire goes missing and Aza and Daisy are intrigued by the one hundred-thousand-dollar reward. They seek to find answers, but get much more than they could have imagined.

Like many of his stories, Green examines the mind of a teenager struggling with a mental disorder, anxiety and insecurity. This is Green’s second story, the first being “The Fault in Our Stars,” to center around a female protagonist. Green, unlike most male authors, can create a relatable, intriguing and likeable female character, who men and women can both identify with.

Green has used mystery as the central part of his story in “Paper Towns” and “Looking for Alaska,” but in this novel, the mystery plays a minor role. Though it lays the backdrop for the story, the main takeaway is about the value of loyal friends and the meaning and importance of love. Green also includes classic symbolism in the story. Many characters used by Green have an obsession which drives them or has a meaning which relates to the story.

The great part of Green’s writing is his character development. Many times, the characters are very smart, use unique language and are much older than their age may suggest, but not unbelievable. This story is no exception. Green uses certain locations in his writing, usually Orlando or Indianapolis, both places he’s lived. Like “The Fault in our Stars,” “Turtles” takes place in Indianapolis. His experiences bring a lot of color to his writing and his attitude about home and places he’s lived are always on display with the characters.

Although it lacks the cinematic quality “The Fault in our Stars” and “Paper Towns” had, “Turtles” is a must read. Green has the talent of bringing out himself into his writing like no other. From his setting to character development to character motivation, Green has once again hit a literary home run. This is one any reader will not want to miss!

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