Turtles All the Way Down: A Book Review

John Green hasn’t published a book since The Fault in Our Stars in 2012, so when he announced that he was going to be releasing his new novel, Turtles All The Way Down, I was super excited to read it. As a fan of his other works, I was glad to see that this book was similar and did not disappoint.

This book is so important because of how it handles  the discussion of mental illness. As a society, we need to create an open dialogue about mental illness.  In my opinion, this book encourages readers to start that conversation. The secondary plot of solving a mystery acts as an anchor for the main plot, which is the main character’s struggle with mental illness.  John Green effectively puts the reader into the main character’s shoes. By blending the thoughts stemming from Ava’s (the main character) mental illness with her usual thoughts, it comes to a  point where the reader can’t tell which thoughts are which. 

Another thing I enjoy about John Green’s book is his writing style which has some poetic aspects to it. After reading some of his sentences, I had to put the book down and think about the hidden meanings behind them. One of my favorite examples of this was from a conversation between Ava and her boyfriend:

“When you’re on a Ferris wheel all anyone ever talks about is being on the Ferris wheel and the view from the Ferris wheel and whether the Ferris wheel is scary and how many more times it will go around. Dating is like that. Nobody who’s doing it ever talks about anything else” (Green, 162).

Another notable quote from John Green was: “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” (Green, 285).

It was moments like these throughout the book that made me really want to go back and read it again.

Aside from those two main points, the book also has all the highlights that make John Green’s other books so successful: realistic characters, an interesting plot, and raw emotion.

If you’re looking for a good read that will make you feel all kinds of emotions, this is definitely a book to consider.



Alyssa Harmon



Green, John. Turtles All The Way Down. Dutton Books, 2017.