Book Reviews

Turtles All the Way Down

When I found out John Green wrote a new book I about lost it. His books were my childhood, they changed me as a person. I remember crying during my Genetics class in high school because I was secretly reading Fault In Our Stars during lecture. When I was 19 John green came to Indiana for a movie tour of Paper Towns I waited hours in a line to see him. This obsession might seem a little weird, however if you’ve ever read one of his books you would understand.

John always has an interesting dynamic in this books, either an interesting plot twist or character development. In his newest book, Turtles All The Way Down, depicts a young teenage girl who is just tightly wound in her anxiety disorder. The whole premise of the book focuses on mental illness and the title itself is a metaphor for the world and how the whole world sits on the back of a turtle and then that turtle sits on the back of another turtle and therefore in theory its turtles all the way down. This expression comes from the unmoved mover theory proposed by Aristotle in which it is believed “that there must be an immortal, unchanging being, ultimately responsible for all wholeness and orderliness in the sensible world” – Aristotle’s Metaphysics Book 12. John has the main character express this idea when she’s trying to find herself and understand her mental disease.

Personally, I enjoyed the book and having a general anxiety disorder was able to greatly connect with Aza. However, for the overall plot of the book, I felt a little let down. I went into reading this book with way too high of expectations and therefore was expecting a large twist and a rollercoaster of a book when really it was a general story. The main character and her struggle with her illness is definitely the highlight of the book and for others with a similar disorder will love and relate to this book on a deep level.

Best quotes:

“To be alive is to be missing”

“Your now is not your forever”

“Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”

“I is the hardest word to define”