Book Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


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.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

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Before I picked this book, I had heard rave reviews from people on Instagram and on Goodreads. Some said it was “life changing“, while another one said- “I strongly believe this will be studied in schools one day.’ I definitely do not feel that way.

Aza, the protagonist, lost her dad at a young age and is trying to cope with her loss while going through the situations that come from being a teenager. Having been “there” (losing a parent in early teens) and being an emotional wreck while watching movies or reading books with even a remote hint of heart break, suffering or death, I was quite disappointed when the book stirred nothing inside me. I just could not relate to the characters or the story. The book was shallow, characters were unrealistic, and the story was stretched so thin that one could use it as a sieve.

There were certain parts that I enjoyed, for example, Green’s handling of the mental issues suffered by one of the lead characters was on point. I was able to feel the anxiety and pain of feeling trapped. But that was the only decent part of the book.

I always think there has to be a moral of the story, or a message that it tries to drive. The message of this book was……… (wait for it)……….drum rolls……..”Life goes on’. How Original is that!

About the author



John Green is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars. He is also the coauthor, with David Levithan, of Will Grayson, Will Grayson. He was the 2006 recipient of the Michael L. Printz Award, a 2009 Edgar Award winner, and has twice been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Green’s books have been published in more than 55 languages and over 24 million copies are in print.


Final Thoughts

There are thousands of people who are raving about this book, but it was not for me. Will I read another John Green Book? I am unsure now.

What do you think

Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? What did you think? Do you have a favorite John Green book that you think I must read? Do let me know in the comments below


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    1. Pallavi Modi

      You know I loved that book so much that I read it twice. And after that I read all John Green books. The Fault in Our Stars has to be his absolute best. Do let me know what you think of Turtles all the way down. TBH, I am a minority in not liking it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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