New twist on romance: spiral into in Turtles All the Way Down


Photo Credit: Afrah Momin

The front cover for John Green’s new book “Turtles All the Way Down”

By: Afrah Momin, Fall Editor & Reporter

The release date for Turtles All The Way Down varied in numerous countries. As for the U.S.A., it was released on October 10, 2017. When John Green was promoting his book, his fans were overwhelmed with joy and anticipation. John Green is most known for his books The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.

What is it about? 

The book is about a girl named Aza Holmesy who tries to unravel the truth about a missing billionaire named Russell Pickett. The reward of 100,000 dollars intrigues her best friend named Daisy, who also helps with the investigation.

As most John Green fans would know, he writes mostly teenage romance. This book does involve an old childhood friendship between Aza, and the billionaire’s son, Davis Pickett. A secret investigation, and an old friendship rekindling… what could be more interesting?

Character Analysis 

Aza is an interesting character. She suffers from thought spirals (overanalyzing one thought, and going deeper into it unable to let go, resulting in multiple thoughts). Throughout the whole book, Aza over analyzes the cut on her finger, repeatedly checking the cut every five minutes, worrying she has C. diff or an infection. She puts hand sanitizer on it hoping to fight off the bacteria and replaces the band-aid, whenever she feels necessary.

She has trouble with controlling her thought spirals when it comes to Davis or appreciating her body. Aza struggles to accept the reality of self, which makes her personality slightly complex and intriguing but sometimes infuriating at the same time.

Davis Pickett is a secretive and sensitive character. He doesn’t seem too open around most people, with the exception Aza. As he grows closer towards her, Davis starts being more honest. He struggles to compose himself and take care of his brother Noah at the same time.

Daisy who is Aza’s best friend is a self-centered person. After hearing about the reward, she forces Aza to get close with Davis. This makes Aza slightly uncomfortable as she starts to get close with Davis, but Daisy tells her to shrug it off. She gets too invested in her own life and with the reward as well. She disregards how Aza feels about all this. I find her to be a disloyal friend.

Is it worth a read? 

I love the interesting storyline because it’s much different from his other books. However, as I read more I started to realize the book was losing its focus: finding the fugitive billionaire, Russell Pickett. The book went on and on about the relationship between Aza and Davis, but never about the investigation.

I am one for romance, however, if the book was about the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Pickett, why did it end so quickly? I was really expecting the story to be a crime story, instead, it turned into an old friendship filled with love.

There was a lot of bizarre scenarios in the book that I didn’t particularly understand. Why would this billionaire give all of his wealth and money to a reptile? Or the fact that if Aza was a true germaphobe, why would she go canoeing? Or why would Aza drink hand sanitizer after kissing a boy? Why did Aza feel more comfortable reading Davis’ blog, rather than talking to him in real life?

I had high expectations for this book, but instead, I found it to be mediocre. This book was a complete disappointment compared to Fault in our Stars. John Green lost his focus, and the book diverted from its original story line.