By Angelique D’Alessandro
In his first novel since 2012, Green illustrates another seemingly cliché teen storyline. Aza Holmes, the narrator and protagonist, is a high school student dealing with typical teen issues.
As the novel opens, she navigates the world of high school, friends and grades. Yet Aza’s struggles are not solely based on her mundane teenage life. She also deals with severe anxiety and OCD, something Green repeatedly mentions throughout the novel. Aza’s obsessive compulsive behaviors take up a majority of her time, sometimes estranging her from her peers. Despite how it begins, it becomes clear early-on that “Turtles All the Way Down” is not an average coming-of-age story. Instead, Aza and her best friend Daisy embark on a journey similar to that of a traditional mystery novel: the two try to discover the whereabouts of Russell Pickett, a billionaire on the run.
Although the two originally go into this adventure for the $100,000 prize, their efforts lead Aza on an even more profound journey, one that changes her irrevocably. Through her search for Russell Pickett, Aza forms a bond with his son, Davis, and grows from her time with him, a new take on a timeless teen romance.
“Turtles all the Way Down” is a witty, well-informed, touching novel that readers of all ages can enjoy.
ÍIt is currently available at bookstores and can be ordered online at www.johngreenbooks. com.