This is the first time I am reviewing a book. I wanted to do it since long but my hectic student life don’t allow me to blog now and then. So, here I am blogging after a few weeks since my last post. And this time I am going to review one of the New york Times Bestsellers “Turtles all the way down” by John Green, published on 10 October 2017. I haven’t read all of his work except “The Fault in our Stars”, which is now one of my favorite movie as well.
So, last week I went to the World Book Fair 2018 held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. I bought like 7 Fiction works. But I was most excited about this one. So I choose to read “Turtles all the way down” first.
Here is the short description of the Book.
It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction and Tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a teenager navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.
Now coming back to the plot and its review.
The story, narrated by a troubled Indianapolis teenager, Aza Holmes, begins as a mystery. Along with her mildly unscrupulous best friend Daisy, Aza decides to search for billionaire Russell Pickett, who has gone missing under a cloud of fraud and bribery accusations, in the hope of pocketing the $100,000 reward money. Aza sets out to look for clues to find the missing billionaire, whilst grappling with mental illness. She spent much of her time wondering if she’s real or not. She even developed a compulsion to test if she’s real. She pressed her thumbnail into the callus of her middle finger, opening up a cut that she believes proves that she is real. However, she also feared bacteria and getting an infection. So, she has to compulsively re-open her finger wound, clean it and re-bandage it many times and keep it free from infection. Her illness was nothing but her mere thoughts taking up her mind, which she described as spirals. “The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”
I like the way her messed up thoughts are mentioned in the book. Like half of the book is filled just with her fighting with her own thoughts.
So, Aza and her best friend Daisy, both went out looking for clues hoping to solve the mystery. But their detective angle is sidelined when Aza falls for Russell Pickett’s son Davis. Russell had two sons, but he didn’t really care for them. He even left his entire estate to his pet Tuatara, and not his sons.
Davis and Aza story line was the most important part of the book. Aza really tried hard with Davis while still struggling from her mental illness. When Davis kissed her, all she thought about were the eighty million microbes which are exchanged during that kiss. So, her mental illness became an obstacle in her relationship with Davis. This pushed Aza into some tough spots, which is a good thing to do to a protagonist.
Reading the way Aza fought with her illness while still trying to be with Davis and solving the mystery as well was tremendous. Once you start reading it, you won’t rest until you finish it.
If you have already read the book, you would know that Davis and Aza do not end up together. I didn’t like this ending much. But one thing I like the most is the sense of hopefulness at the end of the book, where we see that Aza probably got to a place where she was able to be in a physical relationship with someone and have children, even when her mental illness continued to be a part of her life, and may be would always be.
And yes, I would recommend others to read this book. You won’t just read the book, it will put you into thought spirals.