Green Trades Intricate Plot and Relationships for Introspection in Turtles All the Way Down
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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