Title: Turtles All the Way Down
Author: John Green
Page count: 304 Pages
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
John Green‘s 2012 novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ was a runaway bestseller that spawned a critically acclaimed movie of the same name. His books have resonated with young readers worldwide not only because of his precocious characters, but also because his nerdy, awkward protagonists are tender-hearted, emotionally attuned teenagers who try to answer existential questions that beleaguer the lonely outcast growing up surrounded by the sociological pressure of perfection.
Turtles All the Way Down, his new book in six years, does not break away from this mold. Aza is a sixteen year old in Middle America. Quiet and suffering from OCD, her best friend Daisy is her anchor. When a cash reward is announced in return for the capture of fugitive billionaire Russell Picket, the duo set out to solve the mystery with the aim of winning the cash reward. However, Aza inadvertently, falls in love with Picket’s son, Davis.
As far as John Green novels go, Turtles all the Way Down is his darkest yet. However though it might seem like a detective novel, the story focuses more on Aza’s state of mind. While most John Green characters before have looked for love from someone, Aza is learning to love herself. It is not a story meant to have a happy ending, but is journey of self-discovery that seeks to discover the meaning of friendships and the often isolated existence one endures when suffering from mental illness.