“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”
~ Turtles All the Way Down ~
by John Green
Page Count: 286 (Hardcover)
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
I really feel like I’ve wasted 20$ on this. There is NOTHING original about this book at all. It is your typical John Green book and I’m just annoyed. I went out last night to buy it, and I really didn’t expect to finish it all in one sitting but ugh John Green does this to me. Even though his books ( not TFIOS ) annoy me to no end, I still am always dying to know how it ends. BUT WOW I really wish I wouldn’t have stayed up till 3am finishing this. Because there was nothing to gain from this book. Again, I am so annoyed.
Okay so I’m tempted to just paste the Goodreads Synopsis here just because I cannot summarize what this book was even about. Hmm I’ll try and give it a shot but this will be a Mess. This book features, the great hopelessness that all of John Greens books have. Star-Crossed love that should never happen. And lots of quotes about life and how sucky it is. But anyways, our main character Aza (whose name is AZA just because it covers the whole alphabet. That just screams John Green) is suffering from some type of Mental Illness. And she’s going through life dealing with the loss of her dad, and being trapped in her head. She is constantly worrying about something and getting lost in her own personal world. But anyways, in Indianapolis, a rich man named Russel Pickett goes missing and there is also a 100,000$ prize out for anyone who knows where he is. So Aza must go back to being friends with Davis Pickett, the son of Russel but also her old friend/crush. Hm. Yeah. Kind of reminds me of Margo and Quentin but yeaaah anyways. So Aza and her best friend (who is quite honestly one of the worst best friends ever) embark on this journey to find the missing rich man, and end up befriending Davis and he ruins their whole search. Honestly this book is a next level Mess, but thank the Lord there were some good quotes.
What Bugged Me:
I’m going to bullet these points because there is SO MUCH that had me irked.
- The beginning is a mess. Aza reminds me so much of Hazel that’s it’s ridiculous. They’re voices pretty much blend together and it’s horrible. EVERY single main character seems to blend together with John Green and it’s just why?! Why must everyone be so pretentious and worry about life and think about how little they are. What makes Hazel such a great character is she doesn’t give two craps about what anyone thinks of her cancer. She knows what she’s been through and she’s brutally honest. But I think it was great because it was Johns first big seller, and it was great and different. But after PaperTowns everything just blends together and his writings are BLEGH. And Aza starts the book off freaking out because she thinks she is fiction and not real and everyone makes her decisions and she can’t live the life she wants. Of course, typical teenage thoughts but John has to add even more problems into it and it’s just I don’t know, a terrible intro to this book and to Aza.
- The love interest Davis Pickett is just so bland! And sure, his dad is missing, he’s an emotional wreck. But then, of course, everything changes once Aza comes into the picture and his life is turned into the better. And all he thinks about is her when THEY’VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR YEARS. It’s like the relationship ruined him. I really do think he would have been a great character. Perhaps if there was a book written just about him then that would have been a great book. But he didn’t mix well with this relationship.
- The plot was ridiculously stupid. Rich man goes missing, Aza really doesn’t want to find him but her best friend, Daisy is making her look for him. So together they can split the cash prize. BUT really this plot was so stupid and didn’t change the outcome of anything and just why did this book SUCK SO MUCH?! This book focuses more on relationships then it does the Mystery. Like honestly the whole synopsis is about her and Daisy finding this dude, but really that’s not even the main point.
- Why is everything so pretentious. I don’t understand how he keeps selling books because it’s literally the same pretentious thoughts with every book. I really wanted to give him a chance just because The Fault in Our Stars is my all time favorite book, but wow I just can’t take it anymore.
- ALSO. WHY IS DAISY SUCH A BAD BEST FRIEND?! She may have some problems in her life, but gosh that doesn’t give her an excuse to be a piece of crap to Aza. I don’t think it dawns on her ever that Aza has an illness, she cannot be the best friend that Daisy wants because she has problems to deal with. Honestly, if she was my best friend, she would have been dropped just because it doesn’t even seem like she wants to be her friend? There was no good connection, or story behind them being friends and just blegh it felt so fake.
- This whole spiral thing that the book has going on. I kind of understood it but just it really didn’t make a lot of sense. I think the point was that the more you focus on the thing that’s weighing you down, the spiral of thoughts tighten down on you?? I really DON’T know, I just may be too dumb to get the concept. It’s only meant for xxtremely smart 16 year olds to understand.
- And the Title as well. Like there’s a part where they bring up Turtles All the Way Down but the concept doesn’t make sense to me! I understand what it means, but how does it fit into the story?!?! I DON’t GET IT! AND I’m annoyed because everything in this book was so extra and just wow.
- Also the freaking Tuatara. Don’t even get me started on the dumb lizard.
What I Actually Enjoyed:
- Aza. I really liked her as a character. I really don’t like what she was forced to go through, I don’t like how she was thrown into this horrible plot. If she was alone, I do think she would have been a great character. And yeah at the beginning she was doing a lot of Hazel-esque things but by the middle she started to become her own character. Her own voice shined through and I liked that. I just don’t think it should have taken halfway through the book for her to have a distinct voice.
- I very much enjoyed how John dealt with anxiety and depression and being trapped in your head. If authors can make you feel the anxiety and the hurt from the character then I have to give them props for that. He did it in such a raw way that it feels so real. I could relate to Aza in a lot of ways when she was having her anxiety attacks and when she was trapped in her head. But yeah these two things saved the book from completely flunked. I really didn’t care for anything else.
( pg. 1 ) “But I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.”
( pg. 9 ) “Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
( pg. 57 ) “Last night I lay on the frozen ground, staring up at a clear sky only somewhat ruined by light pollution and the fog produced by my own breath – no telescope or anything, just me and the wide-open sky – and I kept thinking about how sky is a singular noun, as if it’s one thing. But the sky isn’t one thing. The sky is everything. And last night, it was enough.”
( pg. 81 ) “And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realize you’ll eventually lose everyone.”
( pg. 85 ) “I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.”
( pg. 167 ) “You are as real as anyone, and your doubts make you more real, not less.”
( pg. 174 ) “Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really – just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body.”
( pg. 186 ) “The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.”
( pg. 206 ) “Our hearts were broken in the same places. That’s something like love, but maybe not quite the thing itself.”
( pg. 277 ) “You pick your endings, and your beginnings. You get to pick the frame, you know? Maybe you don’t choose what’s in the picture, but you decide on the frame.”
( pg. 285 ) “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 you become a person, and why.”
I feel like these quotes are so misleading because they’re amazing quotes. But wow they don’t make the book a five-star book. I 100% the John Green worshippers will love this, it just wasn’t for me at all. I feel like if any other author decided to take this on, then I would love it to no end. But just because John Green has such a repetitive writing style and all his works blend together, that this sucked. So anyways, I really don’t recommend this but I don’t know you might like it. So you do you, but you’ve been warned LOL.
Anyways, I hope y’all have a great day and Happy Reading!