October 15, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstargreen, John. Turtles All the Way Down. 304p. Dutton. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780525555360.
Gr 9 Up–Sixteen-year-old Aza Holmes first met Davis Pickett at “Sad Camp” the summers after fifth and sixth grades. Both Aza and Davis had recently lost parents and the kids bonded in their grief and fascination with the natural world. They’ve had little contact since then, even though they still live in Indianapolis, albeit in very different circumstances. When Davis’s billionaire CEO dad disappears on the eve of a fraud and bribery investigation, Aza’s best bud Daisy is intrigued, particularly since the police are offering a $100,000 reward for information about his whereabouts. The bright, talented girls worry about affording college and soon get caught up in solving the mystery. However, a lack of finances is just one of the myriad things, large (existential) and small (microbes), that Aza stresses about. She is living with debilitating anxiety and obsessive-compulsive responses to it. Despite years of therapy and meds, she works hard to function in the face of physically harrowing mental health challenges. When she reconnects with her childhood friend, the prospect of a budding relationship is at once thrilling and terrifying. As always, Green creates whip-smart and articulate characters who will charm, frustrate, and possibly annoy readers. While the romance is never fully realized, this is undoubtedly a love story. Aza is a likable protagonist and readers will be caught up in the claustrophobic, narrowing spiral that is her existence and root for her to gain control of her life. Her tough, brutally honest first-person narrative will leave teens battered and raw but will also show them that, with love, everything is possible. VERDICT A deeply resonant and powerful novel that will inform and enlighten readers even as it breaks their hearts. A must-buy.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

Save

Save

Luann Toth About Luann Toth

Luann Toth (ltoth@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor of SLJ Reviews. A public librarian by training, she has been reviewing books for a quarter of a century and continues to be fascinated by the constantly evolving, ever-expanding world of publishing.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*