“It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see”

After The Fault In Our Stars made me cry three times, I ordered this book as soon as it hit stores, around 50 million copies have been sold already! So lets just say my expectations were high with this one.

This novel follows a sixteen year old girl Aza, her struggle with anxiety, how she deals with her relationships all while acting detective to find the runaway billionaire with a huge reward at stake.

We’ve all read the same old stories where the girl falls in love with the guy and suddenly she’s all better and everything is all rainbows and unicorns but here Aza is portrayed as strong individual character.

I loved how appropriately her anxiety and mental health problem is presented to the reader. No understating it or over exaggerating it; It’s there and it hits hard. You can feel her emotions as you read through; you’re inside her brain, you can feel the battle she fights with herself constantly.

It’s there throughout it doesn’t eventually disappears or becomes less easy because it’s not! that’s not how it works. At some points you just want to pull her out of the pages and give Aza a tight hug.

I think this topic is especially relevant in today’s social climate so I applaud John Green for  tackling it so tactfully and at the same time, heartrendingly. Aza’s relationship with her mother and best friend is a refreshing to read about the amount of love, support and patience in these relationships is truly inspiring.

It shows that even though Aza has a mental illness and fights with herself everyday they accept and love her for who she is, supporting her along the way. These qualities are important when you know someone with a mental illness because they’re already in a tough situation and it’s hard at times for people to understand what the other person is going through.

The concepts in Turtles All The Way Down are explained in a light and humorous way ,it makes you laugh yet you get the idea-you have to read to find out what I’m talking about!
Alongside a romance also blooms between Aza and Davis, not in a cliché manner though Davis isn’t the typical “knight in shining armor”. I especially enjoyed the way Aza continuously chooses to fight her own battles without falling victim to the normal tropes we see in such novels.

The ending was a pretty big shocker though I read it five times! given John Green’s previous books I was especially apprehensive that it would end in tragedy but then it ends in such a unique way.

The transaction from the teenage hood to adulthood is heart wrenching, It’s not sad or happy or really hopeful, but it does show that in the ebb and flow of time everything can change at any moment.

The situation you’re in is important and maybe some part of it will always remain with you. You’ll have your high and lows,it will be difficult but one day you might be leading a life completely different than you imagined after all “it’s turtles all the way down”.

One great thing I especially love about John Green is his ability to treat his teenage characters as adults. He understands them, gives them the importance they need instead of treating them like children he tries to show with utmost sincerity the trials and tribulations of forming your own identity at such a point in your life and facing impossible odds.

I would give this book a solid 4 out 5 and would recommend you to go get a copy as soon as possible.

Lastly I’m going to end this with another of my favorite quote from the book:

“No one ever says goodbye unless they want to see you again”

Written by: Radhia Shafi