John Green Strikes Again: How His New Novel Hits You In The Feels

John Green Strikes Again: How His New Novel Hits You In The Feels

A "Turtles All the Way Down" book review by a college student who experiences at least five existential crises a day!

The day after I finished my last exam and came home for three weeks, I picked up "Turtles All the Way Down" by John Green. Needless to say, my expectations were extremely high. It's been around five years since "The Fault in Our Stars, which was an extremely popular YA novel that spread like wildfire through the social ladder and the NYT Bestseller lists. When I found out about "Turtles All the Way Down," I wanted to read up on it as much as I could because I was so unbelievably excited. But then I thought, why not go in blind? Why not just go in with minimal expectations? So, that's what I did. And I am so glad I decided to.

Let me first tell you: John Green did not disappoint.

The story is told in first-person by 16-year-old Aza Holmes, also referred to as Holmsey by her best friend Daisy. They don't live in the best part of Indianapolis, but Aza's old friend Davis Pickett does. Even though she hasn't talked to him in years, Aza and Daisy decide to sneak over there one day. Of course, this is after they discover that Davis's billionaire dad, Russell Pickett is a missing fugitive with a cloud made of $100,000 in reward money hanging over him.

I assure you that even though that paragraph sounds quite cheesy, the book is far from that. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's vegan.

Although I did thoroughly enjoy the plot line, I enjoyed Aza's character much more. From my previous description, you probably figured Aza is a perfectly normal and typical 16-year-old (besides the fact that she's hunting down a fugitive who also happens to be her friend's father). However, Aza struggles daily to function with OCD and anxiety. Her thoughts are plagued by fears of bacteria and deep questionings on what her life "really" is.

In the YA literature world, mental illnesses are a hot topic. From what I have personally read, I never thought it was captured well and I figured that it never would be. But I'm pretty sure John Green heard my thoughts because he came sliding in and proved me real hecking wrong.

I have never, and I mean never, read a book that captured the day to day struggles of a mental illness so well. I honestly don't want to even describe how John did it because I know if I try, I'll probably ruin it. But what I "can do is give you some amazing quotes from the book in hopes of showing its pure beauty.

Some heckin' good quotes about mental illness from "Turtles All the Way Down:"

"...but I can no more choose my thoughts than choose my name."

" invasive weeds, these thoughts seem to arrive at my biosphere from some faraway land, and then they spread out of control."

"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."

"I feel like I might not be driving the bus of my consciousness..."

"I think, 'you will never be free from this.' I think, 'you don't pick your thoughts.' I think, 'You are dying, and there are bugs inside of you that will eat through your skin.' I think and I think and I think."

"...and even though I laughed with them, it felt like I was watching the whole thing from somewhere else, like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it."

And guys, these are only a few. A FEW!!!!!!! AND these are only the quotes about mental illness.

I deadass read this book in five hours; I literally could not put it down. Granted, the plot is borderline cheesy and slightly unrealistic. BUUUUUTTTT 1. it's a YA lit book, so what else would be expected? and 2. it's not really about the literal plot line; the meaning of the book lies in between the lines.

So with your Christmas (if ya celebrate) money/gift cards, go out and get yourself this amazing novel. It's gonna make you have an existential crisis, but what better time to have that than right before 2018 approaches?!

In all seriousness, this book is phenomenal. I truly believe that everyone should read this because there is something everyone can gain from it, no matter who you are. John Green hits you in the feels, and there is no escaping it.

OVERALL: 5 stars.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

13 Movies Every Couple Needs To Watch Before They Get Married

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories.


These 13 movies are the foundation of any long-lasting relationship, and I'm not joking. Each movie will show you something new about your partner, and make you ask each other the hard questions. How many kids do you want and how are you going to raise them? What would happen if you got into a horrible accident? Some are less serious though, like what if you could time travel?

I promise that not every one of these movies is a Nicholas Sparks classic, and I also promise that not every movie has Rachel McAdams in it!

1. "The Time Traveler's Wife"

This movie is both heartbreaking and amazing.

2. "About Time"

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories. It's on Netflix right now, so grab some snacks and turn it on!

3. "Like Crazy"

This infamous Tumblr gif came from "Like Crazy." It's about a couple who goes long distance and build their life together. I used to cry every time I watched it, and I'm no crier! It also has the (now famous) Felicity Jones in it.

4. "The Notebook"

Every girl wants this kind of love.

5. "The Last Song"

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are literally married now so if that isn't good luck, I don't know what is.

6. "Safe Haven"

You guessed it! This is another Nicholas Sparks classic. This movie has a dark twist as well, which men will love.

7. "Inside Out"

You may be thinking that this one is a bit weird. Well, this movie will help both you and your partner understand each other's emotions better.

8. "The Choice"

This movie is great because the female lead is feisty and extremely intelligent, which usually doesn't happen in love stories. How do you keep the love alive with a woman who is hard to get, and even harder to keep entertained?

9. "The Longest Ride"

Originally I could not stand the main female lead (Britt Robertson) but now she is in one of my favorite shows (For The People), so I have no choice. This movie had me on the end of my seat, and as a rom-com it is a must.

10. "The Age Of Adaline"

I began loving the name 'Adaline' thanks to this movie. This unlikely love story and self love journey really gets me.

11. "The Vow"

Imagine falling in love with someone and building a life, but an accident forces you to start all over?

12. "Titanic"

If they don't have any sort of reaction to this movie, they are probably not the one for you.

13. "Yours, Mine, & Ours"

Yours, Mine, & Ours is a true classic. Are you Helen or Frank Beardsley? You should figure that out before you tie the knot!

You're welcome!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"


This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.


Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.


Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.


You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.


Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

Related Content

Facebook Comments