Turtles All the Way Down Book Review

turtles all the way down book review

Hey guys! 

If you’re a fan of John Green, be sure to pick up a copy of his latest novel, Turtles All the Way Down. It’s an enjoyable book that will resonate with a lot of young readers, particularly those with OCD.


Turtles All The Way Down

‘Our hearts were broken in the same places. That’s something like love, but maybe not quite the thing itself’

Aza’s life is filled with complications.

Living with anxiety and OCD is enough but when Daisy, her Best and Most Fearless Friend, brings her on a mission to find a fugitive billionaire things are about to get even more complicated.

To find Russell Pickett, Aza must enter the world of his geeky, but maybe kind-of-cute son, Davis.

But the chances of a first kiss, and maybe even a first love, could send Aza into a spiral of anxiety…

A perfect coming-of-age novel filled with love, mystery and Star Wars fan-fiction.

‘John Green writes from the heart’- The Times


In his long-awaited return John Green, the acclaimed author of The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel about mental health, love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My Thoughts 

Turtles All the Way Down focuses on Aza and Daisy, two teenage girls who are eager to solve the mystery of a billionaire who went missing. While Daisy is after the generous reward for finding the billionaire as it will help her go to college, Aza is more interested in the man’s son Davis. Over the course of the book, the two girls try to find out what happened to the billionaire, while dealing with romance and intrusive thoughts.

As with John Green’s other protagonists, Aza and Daisy are very clever and well-read. Aza in particular is fascinated by microbiology, and due to her OCD, she constantly thinks about germs, even when she’s intimate with someone. Daisy is also a bit of a nerd and writes Fanfiction about Star Wars. Davis has his own demons. Like Aza, Davis lost a parent at a young age (in this case his mother), and after his father disappears, Davis is left to comfort his grief-stricken younger brother.

What I liked most about Turtles All the Way Down was the realistic portrayal of mental illness. As John Green suffers from OCD himself, you can see bits of him in Aza. The description of her OCD is so raw and it’s hard not to sympathise with her. Although Aza is unable to control her thoughts completely, which makes it difficult for her to form relationships with other people, she doesn’t give up and tries to fight her demons.

I’ve been a fan of John Green since circa-2012 (a little before the film version of The Fault in Our Stars was released), and have made it my mission to read all of his books (I have yet to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson). I’d have to say that Turtles All the Way Down is my second favourite John Green novel, with The Fault in Our Stars at the top. Turtles All the Way Down may be heavier than John Green’s previous books, but the Nancy Drew aspect and humorous moments (e.g. the tuatara getting the billionaire’s inheritance instead of his sons) lighten up the mood.

Turtles All the Way Down is a must-read for anyone who likes John Green or realistic YA.


Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? Let me know your thoughts! 



1 Comment

  1. Great review! I love a book that can take a sensitive subject like mental illness and capture it with respect and clarity. From your review, it seems that the author has done this.

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