Raw, Real Main Character Redeems John Green's Latest Novel
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am a huge fan of Fault in Our Stars, and loved Green's writing style in the book. I knew it was going to be a tall order for this book to live up to my love for Fault in Our Stars.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved his main character. Green again created a female protagonist who was strong, witty, and super memorable. I loved Aza and how real she felt. I also appreciated the fact that Green wrote about a character dealing with extreme anxiety. He didn't try to sugarcoat her anxiety or make it seem "less." He went all in, writing in a very raw, real way about Aza's struggles. I appreciated his realness and his ability to write her character in such a gritty way. I liked Aza's narrative voice in the novel and felt like I really knew her by the end.
For me, however, the plot in this book wasn't enough. I understand many really liked the introspective nature of this read and felt that the plot wasn't the focus. I can appreciate that and can understand Green's desire to approach this book from a unique literary form/presence. However, I really wish the plot started at the beginning of the book was more smoothly and intricately developed. I kept waiting for everything to come together and all of the subplots to make sense. I didn't feel that they ever truly did, other than a rushed attempt at the end to make it all make sense.
I also did not like the main characters' relationship all that much. Maybe I just like Hazel and Gus too much to be objective about another John Green couple. However, I just felt something was lacking between them. The depth and emotion wasn't there. I was left wanting more.
Although this is not my favorite book, I will say that Green always amazes me with his ability to write in a quirky yet relatable way. His books are always very clearly his own, with a one-of-a-kind style and voice. I appreciate his realism in his novels as well as his quirky references.
All in all, I am sure John Green fans will find valuable messages to cling to in this book. For many, the book will be a five-star. For me, though, I just wanted a deeper connection between the main characters as well as a more intricately developed plot.
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