Turtles All the Way Down

Posted on Posted in Fiction
Turtles All The Way Down
John Green
Young Adult

Unlike the sappy depressing story that I believed it would be, John Green’s Turtles
All the Way Down was significantly better than anticipated. The characters were
relatable, interesting, and overall quirky, especially the main character, who presents
herself as fun sidekick rather than the amazing young woman that she truly is. Her
name is Aza Holmes, and unfortunately, Aza is ill. Green has stated that Aza’s illness is
based on his own obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders. Her particular fixation is
the bacteria Clostridium difficile, or C. Diff for short, which typically infects hospital
patients who have been administered antibiotics. Even though Aza isn’t in a hospital,
she lives her day-to- day life with that consistent fear.
People tend to associate O.C.D. with repetitive behaviours, and that’s partly true in
Aza’s case: She has a wound on her finger, self-inflicted, that she continually reopens in
order to drain and re-sanitize. That was very much associated with the C. Diff that she is
infected with. Green had made Aza a more severe case of C. Diff, being that she will
actually hurt herself because her thoughts are so strong and controlling, instead of the
usual confusion, and being torn between her thoughts.
In summary, Aza and Daisy set off on an adventure of a lifetime, trying to uncover
what happened to Aza’s possible love affair, Davis (more specifically, Davis’s father). In
just a short time, Aza’s already complicated life gets filled with files, paper, codes, and
coded messages, making the search for Davis’s father seem increasingly similar to
living inside of a Nancy Drew mystery.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers of all genres. This novel
shouldn’t be categorized in a specific genre because it carries a bit of them all… apart
from science fiction and fantasy. Over the course of the story, Aza and Daisy
experience mystery, romance, adventure, and action as they put their friendship to the
test … multiple times.