Wow. This Book.
Let me start off by saying that I went into this book with absolutely no expectations. The only John Green book I had fully read before this one was The Fault In Our Stars, and I was not a fan—I thought it was completely over-hyped and I just didn’t enjoy it (I may have received threats after expressing this opinion to others who had read the book. Don’t worry, though. They were all in good fun (I think). This was when the book had just come out). I thought that there was something I was missing because most of his other books seemed to have gained a good amount of critical acclaim as well.
So, being the strange person that I am, I decided to give each and every one of his books a fair try. An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, you name it. I started reading all of them, and couldn’t bring myself to read past Chapter 3 or so. When Turtles All The Way Down came out last year, I tried to stay away from the reviews, and I wasn’t even really planning on reading it, having given up on the whole John Green literature thing. However, last week I saw a nice new copy sitting abandoned in the teen section, and I found myself picking it up. No one is more surprised than me when I say this: it may sound cliché, but I could feel my life changing as I made my way through this book. I truly treasured the focus on mental illness as it’s not something I’ve ever seen addressed in a young adult novel before, and I think it really opened my eyes and gave me a better understanding of the human condition. And isn’t that what literature’s all about? The book was well written, and although there was a good helping of profanity (which is something that normally makes me run in the other direction), it was well-placed, made sense in context, and actually added to the overall experience (which I feel is rare, especially in YA). It builds compassion and understanding for others, both qualities I believe that the world could use more of, especially right now. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone (age 13 and up), and I will be posting a non-spoiler free review, as well as possibly a favorite quotes post for this book (I found myself sticking sticky notes all over this library book as I was reading it because it was just that impactful!). Also, it’s one of those books where the title makes complete sense and has so much meaning after reading through the end!!!
Interesting (?) Facts:
– This is the first book I’ve rated 5 stars since the end of 2016 (Wonder by R.J. Palacio).
– The note I wrote on my phone after reading this book was: “Wow. Profound. I FELT that ending in my bones.”
I would love to hear your (spoiler-free) thoughts/opinions/feelings on this book in the comments section, whether you have/are planning on reading the books, and/or how you think this book compares to Green’s other books!
Thank you so much for reading, and see you next time!!