Book Review: “Turtles All the Way Down”

Book twenty eight of my 2019 Reading Challenge.

Before I get into the my most recent book review, I thought I’d let you know I’ve decided to lower my goal for the 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge. Instead of reaching for the 50 book goal I will be trying to get 40 books read instead. 50 books has proven to be a challenging goal that I cannot reach this year, but I’m hoping to continue and at least get 40 read. So here is the review for book 27:

John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down

I have always been a fan of John Green’s Crash Course videos, especially when I was in high school, and then when he published The Fault in Our Stars when I was a sophomore and it gained a ton of popularity, I began reading his books. I read The Fault in Our Stars first, watched the movie, and then read some of his earlier novels. I recently got to read his latest novel Turtles All the Way Down and I really enjoyed it.

I’ve mentioned before that I enjoy reading young adult novels and I find that the real reason behind it is that I’m still a young adult. I may be 22 (almost 23) but I still relate to the characters in YA novels. In addition to associating to the “not so mature, still learning the ropes of life” aspect, in this novel I also related to the main character Aza and her pronounced anxiety. She lives with this “ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts” that I’ve experienced myself in recent years.

As someone who constantly fights with my own train, or spiral of thoughts, I empathized with Aza and her struggles. I think Green’s raw portrayal of her mental state might come across as dark and not appropriate for younger readers, but in reality it’s accurate to what a lot of young people are going through. Being in high school is tough. Being in college is tough. Even being a young professional is tough. Having the opportunity to connect with a character who is experiencing similar things assures you that you aren’t alone.

I personally escape my reality by reading books and entering a world that isn’t my own. Having a character like Aza that I relate to brings that world a little closer to home. In this case, it was a good thing because it shows that with hard work, love, help and faith you can overcome your own demons. I think a lot of those in my generation and the ones after me could use a little encouragement and a little help from reading a book that gives them hope.

With Aza’s anxiety, Davis’s love for his brother and Daisy’s perseverance to live her best life there can be a lot learned from this fictional novel. The plot may seem a little extraordinary and the characters may only be 16, but the mentality and drive that keeps the characters going is valuable to any reader of any age.

I personally connected with this book more than I thought I would and for that reason I recommend it to anyone that might feel a bit lost, anxious or just stuck in a rut.

***If you are someone who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, mysophobia, or intense anxiety take caution before reading this book.

Stay tuned for my next review.

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