This sounds like it should be some crazy adventure about two teen girls solving a giant mystery, strengthening their friendship and falling in love with boys. And in a way it is, all of that happens, but it’s not actually the important part of the story. You see, Aza has obsessive compulsive disorder, and it makes her life (and the life of those around her) very difficult. She and Daisy have been friends for years, but the strain put on their friendship by Aza’s mental illness could push them to breaking point. Aza and Davis were friends when they were younger, but Davis’ eccentric father and large fortune meant they ran in different circles as they grew up.
John Green has done an amazing job of writing about experiencing mental illness in a way that shows the harsh realities instead of glamourizing it the way some YA novels tend to. He captures Aza's anxiety and compulsions well. That little inner voice that causes you to doubt and question everything - even the things that you were 100% sure about - can be twisted until you are convinced they were wrong. But more importantly it shows that family and friends will stand by you and support you through the hard times, but in return you need to try and be there for them as well.
John Green has the impressive skill of perfectly describing feelings that I previously could never put into words, and knowing about his own battle with anxiety just makes the words more authentic - “Spirals grow infinitely small the farther you follow them inward, but they also grow infinitely large the farther you follow them out.”
There was a lot of pressure put on John Green while he was writing this book due to the amazing success of his last one (The Fault in Our Stars), and instead of crumbling under the pressure he produced a beautiful book about mental illness, all wrapped up in a story about a teenage girl and her best friend solving a crazy mystery.
Posted by Sas
Catalogue link: Turtles All the Way Down