Like many of you I’m sure, I was beyond excited to learn that John Green had written another book. I bought Turtles All the Way Downheard John speak about his OCD at NerdCon right away on Audible because I wanted to listen to it immediately after it’s release, and I was hoping my husband would listen to it as well. (He hasn’t yet.) I didn’t know much going into the novel other than that the main character, Aza, has OCD, just like John Green does. I had a couple of years ago, but he’d only really given one example about checking that the car doors were locked over and over. I’d read a different novel about OCD where the character was more compulsive than obsessive, but this book was my first insight into the obsessive aspect of OCD. Wow. Aza has some very intense thought spirals focused mainly on germs and gut bacteria and illness. That part of this book was really realistic and kind of horrifying.
The main plot of the book though was pretty far-fetched, which isn’t unusual for John Green. Aza and her best friend are trying to find a fugitive business executive who happens to be Aza’s childhood friend’s father. A large amount of money changes hands without parental knowledge, which was kind of hard for me to overlook. And Aza and Davis (the childhood friend) develop a romantic relationship, which of course I loved. There are a lot of other quirky things going on in the story, which kind of made it jump all over the place. There’s a fair amount of profundity and pretentiousness, but I would expect no less from John Green.
I’d probably rate the plot of this book at only 3 stars, but because of the honest portrayal of OCD and the fact this book is written by John Green, who I love, I bumped it up to 4 stars. This book doesn’t surpass other books by Green in my mind, but I did enjoy it.
Rating: 4 Stars