Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Title: Turtles All The Way Down

Author: John Green

Rating: 5/5 stars

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Synopsis:

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity.


I have to admit, I had semi-low expectations going into this book, mainly because I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Fault In Our Stars. But the fact that I actually went out to buy this book says quite a lot about the hype that centres around it. Plus, lots of people on Bookstagram have been personally telling me that it’s amazing. Well ladies and gents, I’m happy to report that the book did live up to its hype, and that it was, in short, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

You don’t get much of a plot in this book, really. The actual plot is quite ridiculous, but it really fleshes out our main character and shows the audience what it is exactly that she’s struggling with and how she deals with it. This aspect of the novel was done extremely well. It was so good that it carried the whole story all the way through despite the weird plot.

The representation was so raw and painful, it made me ache for our main character. Apart from that, I was also a major fan of the romance. Unlike TFIOS, It does not feel staged or pretentious in any way. It’s cute how the characters are both a little awkward, but their relationship is so honest and innocent that you can’t help but root for them!! I especially love the texts they exchange between one another. It’s so natural and sweet. Nothing is sexualised nor glorified. They both sound and act like two amateur teenagers tiptoeing around the concept of being in a relationship. There is also no pretense nor angst to how philosophical the characters are. I love every question exchanged, and there are so many meaningful quotes to take away from this book.

Overall, this book has struck closest to home for me not only because of the author’s ability to put into words the emotion and feeling of being in a never-ending thought spiral, but also because Green so powerfully stripped down the ugly and inevitable reality of living with anxiety and OCD. Initially I docked down a star because I wasn’t too happy with the ending, but once I picked up after my scrambled thoughts, I decided that the story couldn’t have ended better in any other way.

If you’re looking for a book with great representation, a refreshing contemporary story, and beautiful quotes that will keep you up thinking all night long, then Turtles All The Way Down is it!

If you’re interested in buying Turtles All The Way Down, you can click here to shop the book at Book Depository. I receive a small commission if you use the link! 🙂



  1. juli says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you! For me, the plot was irrelevant when compared to the raw representation of the reality of having to live with anxiety and OCD. I had never before read a book that managed to put into words exactly what that felt like. Definitely my favorite John Green book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anonymous says:

      I only red this book to comply to our output but it turns out after reading this book, I might be a fan of John Green, The use of figure of speech are truly amazing that will caught your attention. You are the #1 author for me


  2. Tsarah August says:

    True. I feel like the plot is only a driving catalyst for the representation instead of being the *real* story that Green wants to write. It is to avoid the discussion of mental illnesses to look like preaching essays or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts says:

      omg i love the way you word it! i totally see it now – it definitely does make his story more authentic rather than sounding pretentious!


      1. Tsarah August says:

        Exactly! Green is always really really really good if he writes something that is personally affecting him.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to admit, I’ve never read a John Green novel. But I should!! TFIOS & Paper Towns would probably be my first two since they’re so popular. I’m very intrigued by this one, and your review has me even more interested! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts says:

      omg yes you should! i was never a john green fan to begin with but i’m SO glad i picked TATWD!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read any John Green books yet and I’ve always recieved a 50-50 after thought by people who did read this one. But then if there isn’t a steady plot, is it even worth the read?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts says:

      personally i think it’s still worth the read if you’re interested in seeing how he goes about representing ocd and anxiety 🙂


  5. Eva says:

    I’ve read some of his famous books and I always disliked them, I’m not sure about this one but, why not! Your review change my opinion a bit ahah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cups and Thoughts says:

      haha yay! i hope you end up picking it up 😉


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