Writer: Emily Martinez

What is a John Green book without some teenage romance involved? Author of The Fault In Our Stars never fails to create a love story so innocent and naive and so full of grief or self-torture.


John Green is an author, producer, vlogger, and editor. He’s won several awards, such as the Printz Award for the novel Looking for Alaska, and his sixth novel The Fault in Our Stars (produced as a film in 2014). He also received an Edgar Award for his novel Paper Towns which was based in a film, released in 2015. Besides being a #1 best-selling author, he is a YouTube vlogger. He’s created the VlogsBrothers channel with his brother Hank Green and has launched many series such as Crash Course (an educational channel) and other events.

Turtles All the Way Down carries the life of sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes always questioning her inner thoughts and often compares them to a never-ending spiral. Aza has a mental health issue and finds herself battling it out, whether it’s with herself or someone she cares about. Aza and her best friend, Daisy, are “detectives” for a mystery that involves a missing fugitive where one is ultimately rewarded a hundred-thousand-dollars, but Aza meets with the fugitive’s son, a long-lost friend, and finds herself building up feelings for this boy. What could Aza possibly do to deal with her own pain while trying to save everyone else?

As always, Green gives each character an odd personality and he never fails to do so. Throughout the book, Aza describes bacteria swimming in her body and as she further describes the issues in her head, and it almost feels like I’m the one suffering with the mental illness. The language in this book is so incredibly vivid, I can almost feel the microbes building up inside my organs. Despite her OCD being one of the most significant key points in the book, I believe Green’s purpose in his writing was to not only to represent Aza’s mental health, but to express each character’s personal burden. The romance involved did not fail to imitate trauma and missing pieces to a puzzle. I fairly enjoyed this reading because it made me cry and laugh many times. John Green brought me into a world where one person can never find themselves, it’s just like a stack of turtles all the way down, so deep you can never truly find the actual you.

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