Turtles All The Way Down - Book review by Anastasia (age 16)
I read Turtles All The Way Down by John Green at the start of 2018. I had heard in mid-2017 that Green would be releasing a new novel in October 2017. That novel became one of my most anticipated releases for October that year. I picked it up as soon as it was published at Dymocks and was so excited to read it. I began reading it as soon as I bought it, but as quickly as I picked it up I put it back down. I was unable to continue reading it after the first two pages; it was just too slow. So, I put it on my highest self where it was collecting dust for 3 months, until finally I decided to give it a second chance and read it.
Again, the first pages to a chapter were slow, but I was able to finish within a couple of days because I was in absolute awe with it. I found the storyline to be unique- Aza our protagonist, who suffers from severe anxiety and OCD with her best friend, Daisy pursuing the investigation of a fugitive billionaire. How amazing and unique is that? I find it inspiring that John Green was able to in-corporate his own experiences with anxiety and OCD into a fictional character. Although it must be easy for an author to write a fictional character with some of their own characteristics, behaviour and experiences, it must be challenging to publicly express to the community that the character that we begin to empathise and fall in love with are based off the author’s personal life experiences.
The novel contained a positive message which stood out to me most which was that, no matter that you are or have suffered from a mental illness, you are loved and supported by family and friends and you are not defined by your mental illness. Aza’s mum throughout the novel showed unconditional love and support for her daughter, no matter what incidents occurred. Daisy also displayed love and support, though it was evident that during periods of the book she was unsure and didn’t quite understand Aza’s compulsive and unsociable behaviour.
I recommend that anyone of the ages +15 pick up Turtles All The Way Down and read this astonishing novel. I believe that anyone who reads this book will empathise with Aza and feel a connection with her even if they have not experienced a mental illness.
Check out the latest booklist for these school holidays: www.monlib.vic.gov.au/Kids/Featured-Booklists#life