Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 3/15/19

I feel like I need to hide in shame. I can’t believe it took me this long to read this book!

This story follows a girl named Aza Holmes who is dealing with an anxiety disorder/ hypochondria that causes her to spiral with thoughts of infection and C. diff. This is all wrapped around the disappearence of Russell Davis Pickett, Sr., the father of Aza’s best friend from summer camp when she was younger, Davis. With an reward out for any information into the disappearance, Aza and her best friend Daisy (but mostly Daisy) go and start to investigate for themselves, causing Aza and Davis to reunite.

Firstly, I love this book because it talks about anxiety, and specifically what it is like. For Aza, the idea of germs and disease are enough for her spirals to start. More importantly, you watch her tell herself that her thoughts are illogical, yet she still is succumbs to those thoughts. Anxiety a lot of the times, in my personal experience, is a war between your brain and your brain (that make sense?). On one hand, you have the brain that is trying to help you process and understand all of the things that are going on in your day to day. On the other hand, you have the part of your brain that tells you that you should completely act irrationally. In Aza’s case, it is to find ways to eliminate bacteria or by harming herself by pushing her thumbnail into her middle finger’s pad. For me, it is to completely shut down from other people. Either way, every day is a battle in a long fought war. Sometimes I act logically, sometimes I act irrationally, it all depends on which one wins the battle. But it is my job to determine who is going to win the war.

Secondly, this book discusses how friends and family respond to this level of anxiety. To have your friends say “this is how I perceive you” and to have your family say “this is why I worry about you” (for the sake of making you read the book, I am trying REALLY hard to not give away their responses) is an incredibly cool way to see mental illness. A lot of the times, mental illness can be about the “I” or “me”, but most of us (if not all of us) have a “you” as well. This book addresses how “you” can be affected by mental illness.

Thirdly, Aza is the child of a single mother. Her father died when she was young (for the life of me I can’t remember the age). This book discusses some of the crazy things we do during grief, such as checking their messages, pictures, or social medias. As someone who lost their mom when she was 18, I fully get it. Grief makes us crazy sometimes.

Fourthly, the romance in this book is so genuine and real. It does not feel forced, and ends in a very realistic way. John Green has always been so incredibly good at finding a way to use a romance genuinely, and it is why he is one of my favorite authors.

At this point, I feel like I need to wrap up, so I rank this 5 stars out of 5, and I love John Green.

As always, if you have any feedback on my review, feel free to leave me a comment. And if you would like to talk to me specifically, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. Thanks for reading, and I will see you all at the next book!

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