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.
Turtles All The Way down gives the reader a glimpse into the life of Aza, a 16 year old girl navigating her teenage life dealing with typical teenage situations of friends and boys but also, the atypical experiences of living with severe anxiety and OCD, while being immersed in the mystery of a local millionaire’s disappearance.
The general consensus of the book club was this this book was an entertaining read and incredibly insightful when it comes to understanding mental illness. Being a YA novel, many of us struggled with a few moments in the book but understandably, reading a book through the eyes of a teenager as an adult – that’s to be expected.
What we loved most about the book was the way in which John Green was able to articulate the struggles Aza was dealing with, with her struggles with OCD and anxiety. Green himself struggles with these same mental health issues so you really felt a sense of understanding these struggles more clearly when reading the novel. At times the novel was funny, at other times – incredibly sad and frustrating as you got deeper into the struggles of Aza with her mental health.
We think this is a great easy read and one that we all felt would be helpful to anyone trying to understand a friend or family member, or even their own struggles with mental health. Have you read this book yet? What did you think? And if you have any suggestions for our upcoming reads, let us know in the comments below!