Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Turtles All the Way Down by: John Green

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: October 10, 2017 by: Dutton Books
Pages: 304
Rating: 3/5 stars

Aza and her friend Daisy are eager to investigate the mysterious death of billionaire Russell Picket, all for a cash reward worth thousands. But when Aza starts growing close to Picket's teenaged son Davis, she begins to wonder if her budding into his dead father's life is really worth it. Mix that with her severe diagnosed OCD and a controlling mother, Aza struggles to be the perfect version of herself, and a perfect detective.

This was unlike any other John Green book I have ever read. You all know John Green. His books are cheesy, his teens do not talk like teens, and 12-year olds love them. But this book was by far his most mature read. The characters were relatable and raw, however this book was not without its faults. Mainly the problem was for me, it was too damn triggering.

I'll start with the positives. Like I said before, this book was extremely relatable and incredibly diverse. I admire Green for taking an issue such as OCD and having his character deal with it, but it not being the central plot. It made it all the more real.

The plot was ok. It was a little boring in parts and to be honest, I didn't find it as easy to get through as his other novels. This is probably just because it was a lot heavier.

But now to the main issue I had with this book. The OCD images were so visceral that I found this book too triggering and disturbing for me. I do not have diagnosed OCD but I most certainly have some OCD ticks, and this book took me down a dark spiral and made me really uncomfortable. It got to the point where I skipped some parts because I just didn't want to read about that stuff.

If you're willing to give this book a go, give it a go. I think out of all of Green's books, it's the least predictable, but just be cautious especially if you have OCD.

Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess


  1. It's probably so realistic and vivid because the OCD aspects are #ownvoices, but yeah, sometimes #ownvoices stuff can be the most distressing 'cos there's no happy-shiny filter over it.

    Thanks for warning people Em, and I hope it didn't upset you too much *hugs* :)

    1. Yes, definitely agree with you on that! I appreciate Green giving such a real image, it was just not what makes me comfortable to read. And I'm ok, don't worry about me :)

  2. I'm sorry the OCD bits turned out to be so disturbing, Em! I dont think enough trigger warnings were used though? Because I dont remember seeing anything about this aspect of it anywhere. Like, granted, I haven't been active in the blogosphere and haven't been following news reg this book, but the least ppl could have done was to include TW in tweets, I feel. We do that already for rape and such, so I do hope this extends to things like these too. That said, it does sound like a good read! Great review! :))

    1. Thanks Ruzaika <3 No, I didn't see any TW attached to this book either, so I think that's part of the reason why I was so shocked going in. It definitely is important to include them!

  3. I have never been a JG fan, but I like the sound of the characters being more mature in this book. Still, I think I'd also find this a bit triggering. Like you I don't have diagnosed OCD, but I definitely have some tendencies towards it as well.
    Sorry you were triggered <3 Hope your next book is much better :)

    1. Thanks Amy :) Yeah, I definitely did not leave this book feeling completely positive.