Hardback, 286 pages
Published October 10th, 2017 by Dutton Penguin
Genre: Young adult fiction, Romance, Mystery.
Point of View: First Person Limited (Aza)
My Rating: 4/5
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that seperate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Turtles All The Way Down is a Young Adult novel, falling somewhere in between the mystery and romance genres. It opens with a narrative point of view from Aza, whom the book mostly follows. Set in Indiana, it is quickly made clear that Aza, although a lovable character in her own right, has her troubles in life living with intense anxiety issues and OCD while dealing with the death and absence of her father. Her eccentric, Star Wars obsessed fan-fic writer best friend Daisy soon appears and they both attend high school pondering the impending fees of college and trying to get on with life as normal.
Meanwhile, Davis Pickett, a son of a local billionaire and a boy Aza met at ‘Sad Camp’ in the years previous arrives with his own troubles when his fugitive father – Russell Pickett – decides to do a disappearing act. When it becomes apparent that there is a reward in exchange for information on Mr.Pickett’s whereabouts, Daisy has the ingenious idea of gathering evidence in order to get the reward. One canoe trip down the river and Aza is reunited with a childhood friend in Davis and the hunt for his father begins.
As previously mentioned, this book is a balanced mix of mystery and almost romance, but it’s not to be confused as a teen romance novel that’s strictly aimed at young adults, although those can be entertaining to their target market, this has so much more to it. It’s a book that explores mental health with incredible detail, relatable to the reader who deals with these issues in daily life and educating the reader who can’t quite comprehend what it’s like to live in such a way. It is written in a way only John Green can. A must read for everyone.