Why Aza Homes From John Green's 'Turtles All the Way Down' Is The Character We've All Been Waiting For

Why Aza Homes From John Green's 'Turtles All the Way Down' Is The Character We've All Been Waiting For

Aza Homes; not your typical girl next door.

John Green, best selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, has done it again. On October 10th, 2017 John Green released Turtles All the Way Down, a novel starring Aza Homes, a sixteen year old girl that faces the challenges of boys, school, solving mysteries, and her own mind.

Aza Homes is not your typical "girl next door" who has her life together, lives in a fancy neighborhood, and looks flawless, but she is the character we have all been waiting for.

Here are just a few reasons why Aza Homes is breaking stereotypical boundaries of a lead teen girl character in newest novel:

1. She struggles with OCD.

It's no secret that throughout the novel, Aza struggles with the voices in her head that constantly tell her what to think and what to do. Her thoughts spiral into deeper and more persistent commands as she ignores them, which is why she is constantly worried. One glimpse into Aza's mind, "'He's trying to treat you like you're normal and you're trying to respond like you're normal but everyone involved knows you are definitely not normal.'" Aza is an anxious character, but she doesn't let it stop her from opening up to her mom, Daisy, or Davis about her struggles. This unique trait lets readers open up about mental illness and informs them on what it might be like to live with OCD.

2. Her thoughts on relationships:

There are too many times where relationships between characters just fall into place. In TATWD, Davis and Aza's relationship is far from perfect, and takes a lot of communication and pushes both of them outside of their comfort zones. Aza has a few things to say when it comes to romantic relationships that just might be more relatable than they were intended to be:

As Aza puts it in the novel, she thinks relationships are awkward: "Like, parts of typical romantic relationships that made me anxious included 1. Kissing; 2. Having to say the right things to avoid hurt feelings; 3. Saying more wrong things while trying to apologize; 4. Being at a movie theater together and feeling obligated to hold hands even after your hands become sweaty and the sweat starts mixing together; and 5. The part where they say, "What are you thinking about?" And they want you to be, like, "I'm thinking about you, darling," but you're actually thinking about how cows literally could not survive if it weren't for the bacteria in their guts, and how that sort of means that cows do not exist as independent life-forms, but that's not really something you can say out loud, so you're ultimately forced to chose between lying and seeming weird." -John Green

3. Aza's internet sleuthing abilities.

From Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even private blogs, Aza seems to be able to find a variety of information relating to mostly Davis. Aza tells Daisy while she is starring at her laptop, "'Um, Davis had a girlfriend, but they broke up last November-ish. He has a blog but hasn't updated anything since his dad disappeared." Admit it, we've all done it, but Aza owns up to her sleuthing throughout the novel when she finds out Davis's true feelings on his private poetry blog, and how Daisy feels about her constant worrying through her Star Wars fan-fiction.

4. She's awkward.

There are no shortages of awkward moments throughout the novel. Times such as when Aza thought Mychal was asking her on a date, when in reality he was asking if her best friend would be interested in him, or when Aza freaked out after her first kiss with Davis under the stars, or how she is thinking about her overly sweaty hands a little too much all the time.

We don't need another perfect looking, pampered teenager giving us life advice. Teenagers want relatable characters that they share deeper connections with. The world needs more characters like Aza, who is smart, has good friendships, and opens up the tough conversation of mental illness. Turtles All the Way Down is a fantastic novel that brings to light a knowledgeable conversation of OCD, a mental illness that John Green himself has dealt with personally. Life isn't perfect, and neither is Aza, which makes her the character we have all been waiting for.

Cover Image Credit: Thomas de Veen

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10 BIG Emotions Every LITTLE Feels Leading Up To Big/Little Reveal

The most exciting yet frustrating two weeks of my life, but all worth it in the end.

Happy big little season! Being the impatient person I am, having to wait two weeks until I found out who my big was drove me crazy. Every day, I got a text or an Instagram post about me, which only made me want to know who she was sooner. Yet, it really is all worth it in the end. Ask any little

1. Being nervous when writing down your list for a potential big

There are just so many amazing girls you've met and it's hard to only name five girls to be your potential big. What if the girl I want doesn't put my name down? What if NONE of the girls I put down put me down, and then I'll have someone random and not know them at all at reveal?

2. When you get that first text or Instagram post from your big

3. Trying to figure out who your big is from the hints given to you.

Or they could just be lying to you this whole time about who they really are.

4. Seeing the girl who you think is your big in public

She will try to play it cool, maybe giving you a simple wave, but you know it's her.

5. When you start getting your gifts

6. Walking into your dorm to see your room decorated

Personally, I was having a bad day, so coming back from classes to see my dorm decorated lifted my spirits.

7. People telling you that they know who your big is but you have no idea

8. Also knowing other girls' bigs and watching them to figure it out

9. Seeing a girl change into a similar shirt for reveal and realizing you're in the same family

10. The moment you finally meet your big

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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10 Reasons You Shouldn't Skip Class Today

9. You're taking advantage of an education that many would love to have.

Trust me, I get it. Getting enough sleep is important. Studying for an upcoming exam is crucial. Okay, maybe you don't feel well. I totally understand these reasons for skipping class, it happens sometimes. Key word = sometimes. But honestly, we shouldn't even be skipping class sometimes. We should find a good spot between seldom and never in our absences from our classes.

Ugh, I know, it's difficult- your professor might be a little slow, there may not be anything important scheduled on the syllabus, or the class might just be outright boring. Yet these should not hold you back from your education and making constant absences a habit. Make it a priority to go to class despite what are often insignificant excuses you create in your head that prevent you from going.

If a serious issue like an illness arises, obviously that should hold you back from going. But take a nap in your free time and schedule time at the library for your studying rather than allowing these justifications to control you from not going to class. Disregard your dissatisfaction for the class, no matter what the reasoning may be, and just go. Here's why:

1. It can become a habit

Once you realize how fun it might be to not go to class, you'll think it's reasonable to do it again in the future, and again, and again. But you're just setting yourself up for a terrible routine where you come up with the littlest excuses to skip classes. Take your classes seriously and don't get sucked into a hole that'll be difficult to get out of.

2. You're practically throwing money away

This is pretty obvious, but many don't consider it. Remember how much your parents pay for school before you consider skipping class. Try to do the math behind it. Be grateful for the money they put towards your education by putting it to good use.

3. You're missing potentially important information

What if your professor is cancelling a future class? Your test got cancelled? You have a new paper due by the end of the week? You wouldn't know any of these things if you miss your class, and it would be pretty embarrassing if you showed up to that future class, studied for that cancelled test or didn't know about that paper. Gain some FOMO to motivate you.

4. Your professor won't have a favorable impression of you

When you're in need of a letter of recommendation, you can't even consider going to the professors of the classes you constantly skipped because what would they have to say about you? Don't let your professor embrace the rage of Ross Geller- get on your teacher's good side and just go to class.

5. Your grade might be impacted

If the syllabus has attendance as a pretty great portion of your grade, skipping class will have a nasty effect on your final grade. Plus, if you're on a borderline between two grades and want to persuade your professor to give you the higher of the two, they won't be so convinced to give it to you. Become a prompt student and watch your GPA grow.

6. You'll have to make up all of that work, anyway...

When you skip class, you're not skipping the notes and homework that comes with it. It will haunt you and you know it.

7. ...and will have to teach yourself the material

You know your professor won't reteach it to you in their office hours. And nobody in your class can teach, what might be difficult, material like your professor can. You might as well go.

8. That boring lecture might just be advantageous

You might be in a class that goes towards your major, or is just beneficial overall. You might be learning something that will really help you in the future or even your career, and it would be a shame to choose a nap over that.

9. You're taking advantage of an education that many would love to have

Not everybody gets to go to college like you do. Not everybody can say they learn new (and often interesting things) everyday. Not everybody has the opportunities that you have, so don't take advantage of them. There are so many people who would do anything to be in your position. Don't take that for granted!

10. You're just worsening your time management skills

When you skip class, you are proving that there are more important things than your classes, which is kind of ironic, because isn't that why you go to school in the first place? Missing class means you're giving into an unnecessary event that shouldn't be above your education. Make a checklist, plan your time, and get everything done around your class times, not during them.

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/classroom-guiyang-tables-textbooks-2787754/

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