Book Report: Turtles All the way Down By John Green

3 months ago

Turtles All the way Down

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

I don’t really know how to rate this one.

It is even tougher to write a review for a book that I thoroughly enjoyed in the beginning but midway somewhere I lost it and I didn’t want to lose it, I wanted to love it so so so much.

Anywho… Rating the book is harder. Three stars, I guess?

Because I liked it, but I certainly didn’t love it. Or, at least not all of it. Maybe I was just expecting too much or maybe I am just not into books anymore. 😐

One thing is for sure, I love John Green. Ever since I have read Looking for Alaska, I couldn’t stop and I wanted more from him and since I have heard about this book, I was so very excited, not that I am disappointed. It’s just- the anticipation, the description of this book was far more exciting than the actual book.

Let me just throw in quotes from the book at random places cause they are something worth holding onto. 

“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.” 

For one thing, I’m a big John Green fan; Looking for Alaska will always be one of my favourite novels.

What Turtles All The Way Down is about?

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 

“You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how and you become a person and why.”



My feelings about Turtles All The Way Down


Let me put it pointers because– That’s who I am as a person now. Pointer person.

Let me put down things why it didn’t work out for me.

  • The characters were flat. Period, no complexity like other John Green characters, maybe because he tried to be different this time. I am sorry it messed up.
  • I hated Daisy. I hated the way she was, what she wanted– the way she called Aza her best friend but was she really? She complained as to how Aza wasn’t there for her but I never could ever feel that she was for Aza at any given point in time. It was more like a lot of expectation with no return just complaints as for how her anxiety is making Daisy’s life miserable.
  • The investigation part was so underdeveloped– it was almost as if John thought of it and then just added it for the heck of it– it had no purpose and because it was added now he had to give it closure.
  • I didn’t like the arc of the story at all- it seemed forced, it also kind of seems like an end, whereas the end didn’t feel like an end.
  • The investigation? Really? How could police, FBI miss it? That is stupid.

Things why it worked out just right for me and left me in a spiral of doubt as to if it was a really terrific or a really weird book?

  • I am not someone who has gone through what people would say anxiety or have met a doctor but I do stress out, think a lot and go deep into my thoughts which make me uncomfortable, stress me out to extends where I cannot do anything or explain myself to anybody which is where this book, the portrayal..helped, it was more or less my feelings, my thoughts were spoken out loud. The way those thoughts affect your moods, your sense of self- worth, your relationships even your existence. Thank you– I know I am not alone in this. I am also very happy that it wasn’t glamorized or made to feel like oh it’s a good thing to have or something which becomes like a fashion statement– I HATE-HATE it when someone just… throws in mental health issues casually.

“Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.” 

  • Aza and Davis’s relationship, to be honest, that is one of the purest and serious relationships I have ever read about and I adored them together.
  • This one is not really a story thing or a book thing but something about the characters. It is amazing how the characters were easily able to speak out their mind. OH MY GOD, GIVE ME THAT SUPERPOWER.

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

  • The way the book is written. Not the story, not the pacing — just pure words, all of them together, they are so good to read. AH!
  • The ay death has been explained. Nobody could have put it out in words for you better than John Green. The fact that when you lose someone, you know, you understand. Losing somebody makes you realise how fragile life is, how one day not everyone who is around you will be there anymore and just thinking about that scares the hell out of me.

“Him: And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realise you’ll eventually lose everyone
Me: True. And once you know that, you can never forget it.” 

  • Classic John Green end– Well I did kind of smile at the end because of it all made sense.

But well the story was really just middle of the road for me. A very average, three-star read.

Do you think I am a monster?

But I really do love John Green, I really love his writing, I just really couldn’t find that emotional quotient as I used to in any John Green book.




“You just, like, hate yourself? You hate being yourself?”
“There’s no self to hate. It’s like when I look into myself, there’s no actual me—just a bunch of thoughts and behaviours and circumstances. And a lot of them just don’t feel like they’re mine. They’re not things I want to think or do or whatever. And when I do look for the, like, Real Me, I never find it. It’s like those nesting dolls, you know? The ones that are hollow, and then when you open them up, there’s a smaller doll inside, and you keep opening hollow dolls until eventually, you get to the smallest one, and it’s solid all the way through. But with me, I don’t think there is one that is solid. They just keep getting smaller.” 


What do you think about the book?


Mridu <3

(“I is the hardest word to define.” )




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