Turtles All the Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green


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 separate 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.


"Oh, sweetie," she said. "You didn't go crazy. You've always been crazy." Now I laughed, and she reached over to squeeze my wrist.

I had a hard time with this one. Actually, I still have a hard time with it. I've been gone for a week and I intended to read this before I left but, alas, whenever I picked this book up I started feeling weird so I only read a couple of pages before putting it down again. Continue this pattern for a couple of days, plus a week of absence and now it's taken me 10 days to read a book I had planned on reading within one day. 

The thing is, Aza's spirals really got to me. I don't have OCD but I'm very anxious/panicky and constantly worried about my own state of mind and although I couldn't relate to the specific spirals Aza has to deal with, it is waay to easy for me to come up with my own spirals and start spinning myself. Luckily, as I said before, I don't have OCD and, thus, I manage to get my head out of them again fairly quickly. Still, I feel worse than I did before. 

As you might have noticed, this might be exactly what this book was supposed to emulate. Show me how a person with OCD might feel and I feel it - task accomplished! Thus, I really have to congratulate Turtles All the Way Down on a job well done. But I can't shake the feeling that I simply feel worse after having read it. 

In other words: I'm in a bit of a pickle here. I can appreciate what this book did well (and there are a few things not only the presentation and treatment of mental health topics, but there's also a wonderful friendship, and also I belong to those people that really like John Green's style of writing) but I also kind of dreaded reading it. I like making fun of myself as someone who reads as escapist measure, this is not quite true but true enough that I had a hard time dealing with a book that trapped me in my mind instead of elevating me from it. There is a good pain I get from reading books dealing with big and harsh topics but this doesn't belong in the same category. It isn't the kind of pain I will someday look back on and think fondly about (like, thinking about the death of a beloved character hurts but it's also a good pain because it means you cared a lot and stuff) it's just a dark cloud that I want gone again as quickly as possible.

Thus, I'm deciding right now that I couldn't possibly rate this book. It did a lot of things well but I can't give it a positive rating because I don't feel positive about it. And that's that.

I was so good at being a kid, and so terrible at being whatever I was now.


Name: Turtles All the Way Down
Deutscher Titel: Schlaft gut, ihr fiesen Gedanken
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 288
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (deutsche Ausgabe)


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