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  • Turtles All the Way Down

  • By: John Green
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329

The wait is over! John Green, the number one best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars, is back. It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My best read of 2017!

  • By Laura on 07-11-17

Poetic prose with memorable lead

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-18

This was beautifully written, quite poetic at times and approached some philosophical concepts with heart. I appreciated that it didn't just rehash the expectations of romance and friendship stories (particularly within ya) and feel that adults, as well as young adults, would dig a lot of this novel.

That said, there are a few qualms for me, although none of them would dissuade me from recommending the book...

I didn't like Davis and felt he was a weak element in the novel. In part this was because he didn't do much / didn't really have much agency, but primarily it was because he would appear and spout philosophy. In essence his "holier than thou but pretending In super laid back and cool" attitude made me groan when he appeared, breaking from the more interesting and realistic characters. I wanted to punch him.

It also took me quite a while to appreciate Daisy, the protagonist's best friend. For much of the novel she felt like a stereotype, but was redeemed. Some of the best moments in the book, for me, were between daisy and Aza.

In contrast, I thought Aza was a very interesting character with a unique view of the world. Is invested in her development and connected with her relationship with her mother. She's philosophical too, but not in the "I'm going to tell you something important" way off Davis.

I admit I found the story a bit lacking, in terms of plot. I think the author directly addresses this later when Aza confesses "I like the bits where the characters just talk". Really the plot was just a means for characters to engage with each other, but that's fine if you enjoy those interactions, which I mostly did.

If you enjoy character led books with interested ideas, with friendship and personal hardship at the centre, I'm sure you'll enjoy this.