John Green releases new book after five years of waiting

Lily Tiong , Writer

“Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green is the first novel to be published since he wrote “The Fault in Our Stars” five years ago in January of 2012. Written through 16 year old Aza Holmesy’s perspective, Green’s audience will see her constant struggle with anxiety and the thoughts consuming her mind. When Russell Pickett, a billionaire fugitive, goes missing, Aza and her best friend, Daisy, decide to look deeper into the investigation.

As kids, Aza and Russell’s son, Davis, were close friends. As they grew older, their friendship slowly dwindled into almost nothing and they lost touch with one another. To help with the ongoing investigation, Aza turns to Davis to see if she can get any information about his father out of him. While she is unsuccessful, Aza and Davis’ friendship from the past rekindles and without knowing, turns into something more.

Aza can be classified as a “germaphobe,” the main cause of her anxiety. She is always worried about getting a disease called C. diff, an internal disease (inflammation of the colon) which is caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile. Holmesy is worried that she’ll get the disease anytime she has physical contact with somebody, whether it be her friends or even her mom. Throughout the book, Aza tries and tries again to overcome her thoughts telling her that she’s always at risk for C. diff or worse, that she could already have it. She is very aware that she most likely doesn’t have it, but she can’t stop listening to her mind telling her “what if?”.

Throughout “Turtles All The Way Down”, Green uses advanced vocabulary frequently making it difficult to read at times. This book is probably not suited for younger kids because they will not understand the concept as a whole and will not get the full effect out of the book. This book will most likely appeal to young adults and anyone older.

“Turtles All The Way Down” is my favorite out of all of Green’s novels. The main characters are easy to relate to, as they are high school students, and the story line made me want to keep reading. I enjoyed how John Green brought light to the reality of things instead of sugar coating how Davis and his brother, Noah, are reacting to their father going missing. It’s also very true to life how difficult living with anxiety is and how Aza deals with it. Looking up the definitions of unfamiliar words helps tremendously and make the novel even more enjoyable.

I would highly recommend this book to any teen or even adult, even if they were not fans of Green’s past works.