“It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.”
I must admit that when I first heard about Turtles All The Way Down, I was worried that it would be dull compared with Green’s last book, the phenomenal The Fault in Our Stars. Although nothing will ever live up to The Fault in Our Stars for me, though, this is an absolutely outstanding comeback that I loved. I’m certain this will be remembered as one of the books of 2017.
Aza is a brilliant character. Green has created a realistic, wonderful portrayal of someone with OCD (an illness he has himself) which was so refreshing to see. Turtles All The Way Down is part of a growing range of amazing Young Adult novels which accurately portray mental illness, and reminded me of Holly Bourne’s Am I Normal Yet, another book about a protagonist with OCD that I loved. By including diverse characters such as Aza’s Latinx best friend, Daisy, Green also helps establish diversity as a key characteristic of YA books.
Turtles All The Way Down is a smart book filled with dark humour which will stay with you long after the final page. It is a love letter to nerd culture, and I loved all the Star Wars references. I would strongly recommend it for anyone looking for a new YA read, though some of the themes might be a little too dark for younger readers.