Summary: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. (From Goodreads)
Here’s the thing: John Green is an auto-buy for me. I know there was a bit of over-saturation when The Fault in Our Stars came out, and some people have firm (and valid) opinions on Mr. Green. With John Green, I was a little wary because of the success of The Fault in Our Stars. Tbh how could he follow up?
Well, he did. While Stars was an exploration of a visible illness, Turtles All the Way Down is an exploration of a hidden disease. I’ve been suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for about six years now. OCD is a hard disease to find in media. When we finally see OCD portrayed, it’s often the over the top neat freak stereotype (see Monk or that chick with Glee).
Not this book. From what I understand, John Green suffers from OCD, which makes a ton of sense because he writes OCD exceptionally well. Like it was almost triggering how accurate Aza’s thoughts were. Before I went on medication (s/o to sertraline!) I used to have the same thought spirals. The same obsessions. The same compulsions. I cannot overstate how important this book is for people who have OCD.
This book does have weaknesses though. Outside of Aza and Daisy, the characters are pretty forgettable. The mystery aspect was a lot less compelling and exciting than I had hoped.
But you know what? I don’t care. This book is beautiful and haunting, and you should read it despite its flaws.