Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is a young adult fiction novel taking place in modern day Indiana. It is the story of a high school age girl named Aza who has obsessive compulsive disorder; her father died when she was younger so now she lives with her mother. Her mom is a teacher at the high school Aza attends and Aza has a best friend, Daisy, who enjoys writing fiction novels about Star Wars. The story begins with news of a local well-known wealthy man disappearing in the middle of a police investigation – they appear to live in a small town where news travels fast and everybody knows everybody.
Anyway, the two girls hear that a reward is being offered for any information regarding this man’s whereabouts. Daisy thinks they could use the money and remembers that Aza met the man’s son, Davis, at camp one year. Aza remembers that Davis doesn’t live far from her and they could take a short ride up the river behind Aza’s house. Daisy convinces Aza to head over to Davis’ house to see how he’s doing and to see if they can get any information or clues as to where his father might be. The girls make it to Davis’ house, but are stopped by one of the groundskeepers (Davis lives in a mansion by the way!); he walks them to where Davis after asking them a few questions, of course.
Davis remembers Aza and it becomes clear that Davis might like Aza so Daisy spends most of her time trying to snoop around without looking like she is snooping around – tough gig. Anyway, Davis and Aza hit it off and exchange numbers; the story follows Aza as she navigates her way through life as a teenager with obsessive compulsive disorder. She has to navigate her way through friendships old and new; once she realizes how her disorder can effect numerous areas of her life, Aza has to figure out how to handle her disorder and communicate how her disorder makes doing seemingly normal things for everyone else, extremely hard for her.
The story is good and well-written; it flows easily and has little bit of everything in it – mystery, action, humor and romance. Originally, I thought this was about Aza’s romance with a missing/wanted/disappeared’s/orphaned (mom out of the picture at a young age) teen and how they find his dad together. However, this story’s main focus is Aza dealing with her mental illness. With this perspective in mind, Aza spends a lot of time in her head and the author conveys her arguing with another voice in her head that causes her anxiety, obsessing and worrying.
Anyway, I would recommend this book to any young adult or adult who is dealing with or knows someone dealing with a mental illness. I also recommend it to anyone who is a fan of John Green’s works or fiction works dealing with present day social issues/situations. I purchased this from a local book store that sells new & used books, however, I’m sure local libraries have copies of this book by now, so if you’re not sure you want to spend the money on your own copy, then I would check your local library first. If you would prefer to purchase, you can purchase a hardcover version for $19.99 ($12.89 if you have B&N Membership) at B&N.com or for $12.28 (it’s a Prime eligible item too) at Amazon.com.
Thanks for stopping by and come back in two weeks for another book review! -xoxo