John Green’s newest novel, Turtles All The Way Down, surprises readers with a combination of humor and heartbreak


Paisley Regester

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

Paisley Regester, Staff Writer

John Green’s seventh, and most recent novel, Turtles All The Way Down, follows the adventures of anxiety-ridden sixteen-year-old Aza and her headstrong best friend, Daisy, as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a former classmate’s billionaire father.

Relationships are developed and tested as the quest to collect the hundred-thousand-dollar reward regarding the billionaire’s whereabouts becomes more complicated. Green motivates readers to become invested in the novel’s flawed, yet loveable characters and skillfully constructs each of their unique personalities. The novel explores their often quirky hobbies, including everything from a passion for astronomy and a devotion to poetry, to an love of prehistoric lizards and an obsession with Star Wars fan fiction.

Green’s writing style is intimate and creative. His varied use of witty dialogue and complex moments of reflection make the novel compelling from beginning to end. The novel takes readers through the infinite spiral of thoughts Aza is often tormented by, due to her struggles with anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The book is largely inspired by Green’s own experiences with mental illness, making it one of his most authentic, heart-wrenching novels yet.

Turtles All The Way Down is also embedded with themes that are relatable to almost every teenager. It demonstrates the idea of having to grow up too fast, whether it’s a choice, or an obligation. The novel also illustrates how a seemingly minuscule event can produce powerful consequences. These vast ideas, explored through empathetic, nonconforming characters, are what have enticed the book’s readers since its release.

Though some get exhausted by Green’s repetitive coming of age storylines, Turtles All The Way Down successfully balances the drama of complex relationships with a unique mystery storyline ingrained with the uncensored, innermost thoughts of teenagers.