Today I'm going to review a very highly anticipated new release novel from John Green, many of you probably know the name John Green through his insanely popular book "The Fault in Our Stars" that got adapted into a movie a few years back. This new novel " Turtles All The Way Down" has been highly anticipated as John Green has not released a book since 2015.
To start off with I had no idea what this book was about, I had liked all of his other novels so had no qualms about giving this one a go without reading any reviews or knowing what it was about. But heres the blurb for anyone wondering:
"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 for her 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"
Now to start off with, this sounds like an mystery novel which is something I've gotten rather into lately. But unfortunately the blurb is where the mystery part of the novel stops.
I feel like the plot went nowhere, from the blurb we are told that there's the mystery of a billionaire gone missing and the girls are trying to find him and solve this huge mystery, again I feel this was more of an afterthought, as this book depicts Aza's fight against mental illness and anxiety and how her whole world revolves around what goes on in her head (which means that the whole book revolves around what goes on in her head as she is the main character) and the storyline of the missing billionaire drops off and isn't really spoken about till the end of the book, making it feel like an afterthought as though John Green suddenly realised he hadn't written about it in a while.
Though in saying all that, I found John Greens depiction of mental illness and anxiety was very well portrayed. It wasn't romanticised like it can be in many YA (young adult) novels and the writing style showed you rather than told you how she felt and what was going on inside her brain. The way her anxiety was written was also rather aggravating but this was a great feature in my opinion as it showed just how aggravating mental illness and anxiety can actually be for the person going through it, and how it effects the other people in that persons life e.g. Aza’s friend Daisy, her mother and Davis (The billionaires son.)
I love the way he talked about "spirals" as a way to depict metal illness, for anyone that's ever felt anxious about an exam, or having to do something you are nervous about you know too well those moments when everything seems to be spiralling out of control, and you are convinced nothing is going to go right, this is where I think John Green got it right, so many people can relate to Aza here.
The friendship between Daisy and Aza was very real as well, another thing I think John Green got right. Daisy very rightfully so gets angry and frustrated at Aza for being in her own head all the time and not actually paying any attention to anything around her, and other peoples feelings. This is real friendship, friends have falling outs, they get annoyed and frustrated at each other once in a while and maybe don't talk for a few days or weeks. Relationships whether they be friendships or boyfriend/girlfriend are never 100% peachy and loving all the time.
Another thing I did like was John Green's use of social media (blogs/facebook/the use of phones/fan fiction.) Many fiction YA books don't depict the way teenagers use social media and their phones in this day and age and have the characters phone die, or have them not even bring their phones with them anywhere which is highly unlikely for teenagers in the 21st century. John Green uses social media and phones to his advantage in this book and that made it all the more real and relatable.
I dont think I ever really meshed with the characters, I didn't feel sad for them when things happened that weren't good, or happy when something went right i was just reading the words and didn't have any feelings about what I was reading. The book just didn't pull on my heartstrings like so many others have said it did for them (which is unusual for me as I am a cry on cue kinda gal)
Although this book had many good points, and John Green definitely had great intentions, I just feel like nothing happened and the whole 286 pages were us being inside Aza's head.
I read the book in one day which must say that it definitely wasn't a terrible book by any means, it just fell flat with the excitement factor and became rather boring as it felt like John Green remembered about the billionaire is missing subplot a little to late, and didnt quite get to the point for me.
I hope this review helped some of you out!
You can check out other books that I've been reading and how many stars I have given them on my Goodreads account.