Book Review – Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Genre: Fiction

Note: There are NO spoilers in this review. When discussing in the comments, please provide a spoiler warning if needed.

After spending novel after novel in different fantasy realms, I decided it was time for a change. That’s when I picked up Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It had been on my TBR for a while, and I just had a feeling it was what I needed.

I LOVE his book Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns is a great movie, although I’ve never read the book. 

Now that I’ve finished the novel, I know I made the right choice.

Throughout the novel we follow Aza Holmes and her best friend Daisy as they begin their own missing person investigation. Their inquiry leads them to reconnect with old friends, discover intimacy with people they never expected, and test their friendship. 

It’s a story about accepting yourself and lifelong friendship and connection. It’s a beautiful journey and I wish I could know Aza Holmes in real life. 

“You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person and why.”

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Very few books I’ve read have brought me to tears, but the final pages of this novel hit me right in the gut. John Green was able to give his readers the perfect ending that was neither perfectly wrapped up and happy or sad and heartbreaking. Like life, it was a flawless mixture of the two. 

When reading this book you’re going to ache for the freedom and exploration of high school. It took me back to afternoons filled with nothing and everything at the same time. It’s a time when we fully experience the world, and John Green captured it perfectly. 

My key take-aways from this novel are love your people, with everything you have, and learn that not every relationship is going to follow you through life, and that’s okay. 

Every day is a constant battle between us and our demons, so take a note from Aza and never stop fighting. 

Have you read Turtles All the Way Down? Let’s talk about it in the comments here or on Instagram.

What I’m Reading – Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

It’s time for a break from fantasy.

Throughout my reading life I’ve always jumped from fantasy to romance to thriller to dark/ monologue-y novels. I’ve never stayed in one place for long, and I enjoyed the journey. I have lived lives in both real and fictional places and loved every moment of it.

Like most everything else, I will blame this current hot streak in various fantasy worlds on the pandemic and the need to step away from reality for a bit. But it’s time for a small detour back to the real world, and for that detour I have chosen John Green’s Turtles All the Way Down.

I’ve read a few of John Green’s novels, a favorite of mine being Looking for Alaska, so I’m pretty excited to dive in. Who knows, maybe this is the start of a non-fantasy streak (doubtful).


Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.