This review of Turtles All The Way Down by John Green has been written by John Adams. To know more about him, scroll to the end of the post. I, on behalf of the readers of Mojito with a Twist, thank John Adams for submitting this detailed critique of the book.
John Green has always been one of my favorite writers in the area of young adult fiction. I have read all his publications, but I particularly enjoyed ‘The Abundance of Katherines’ and ‘Paper Towns’. His writing style is undoubtedly unique; the stories are primarily written in the first person, which is always a troubled or challenged teenager. A substantial portion of every book describes what is going on in the head of the protagonist.
‘Turtles all the way down’ was no different, yet the story was slightly all over the place. The author’s stories have rarely revolved around a definitive plot, as they rather lean towards the philosophical side. The title of the book is a metaphor, so don’t get fooled. I don’t remember reading anything about actual turtles in the whole book, although you will be acquainted with one privileged tuatara. I hate to say this but the characters and storyline of this book were not memorable.
According to Wikipedia, ‘Turtles all the way down’ is an expression of the problem of ‘infinite regress’. The bizarre theory is that the world rests on the back of a large turtle, and that turtle rests on the back of an even larger turtle; the sequence of turtles continues indefinitely. I couldn’t really grasp the concept, so I dug a little further and discovered that this an old saying that originated in the 19th century. The metaphor was used as a counterstatement for the existence of God, and an explanation for the beliefs of the flat earth society; can you imagine the earth as a flat plate balanced on the shell of a turtle? I wanted to summarize my research, but I am ashamedly clueless.
Aza Holmes, the protagonist of the book, is a sixteen-year-old girl who is suffering from a severe mental illness or perhaps going through an existential crisis. The girl seems to be battling with germophobia, anorexia, and other underlying issues as well. Aza is repetitively the victim of the spiral of her own intrusive thoughts. She strives to be a better daughter, a good friend, and even a normal girlfriend, despite the darkness in her head. Her best friend, Daisy, is the cheerful kind and does Star Wars fan fiction; one of the characters she created is based upon Aza and the personality portrayed though it is noticeably intolerable.
Davis is a childhood friend of Aza and the son of a shady billionaire. His identity is clouded by his dad’s wealth, similar to how Eza is stifled by her anxiety and OCD. Davis’s father goes missing and a $100,000 reward is up for grabs for anyone providing information about his whereabouts. Daisy suggests that she and Aza look for clues for a chance to win that money. They start investigating, which leads them to the reunion. Davis gives Aza $100,000 that is lying around the house, in order to ensure that them meeting again is not just about the money. The two form a bond that may or may not be contemplated as young love.
Daisy and Aza split the money; Aza believes that it helps her get into a college of her choice, whereas Daisy buys a car. Later it is revealed that Davis’s father is on the run after committing a criminal offense. The end was a cliffhanger, with Davis moving away and Aza still unsure of herself. The book wasn’t that bad, or I would never have finished it. I just didn’t know how to feel after reading it to the very end; maybe it just wasn’t a story I could relate to.
Guest Post Author Bio
John Adams loves traveling, reading, and writing. He encourages his readers to improve their quality of life by incorporating positive thoughts and actions. Blogging about personal opinions and life experiences makes him happy, and he is always open to constructive criticism.
Wish to submit a guest post for Mojito with a Twist? Click here.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this guest post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Mojito with a Twist, who shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies presented. Permissions: The author of each guest post presented on this site is responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for publication.