Turtles On Turtles On Turtles

Tristin Hartono (14150098)

It’s Turtles All The Way Down (TATWD), another masterpiece of an American writer and video blogger (vlogger), John Green. This story came up with Aza Holmes, the girl who suffers an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that lives in the north side on Indianapolis. Aza could never handle herself to pressed her right thumbnail into her middle finger’s pad, and that’s why she always covers her right middle finger with band-aid–and she’s kinda addicted to hand sanitizer too, BTW.


She lives with her Mom who works as a history teacher in her school, White River High School. Her father died of a heart attack while mowing the lawn when she was around eight, his phone and car (Harold) are the last things she had from her Dad.


The story focused on Aza with her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, looking for a fugitive billionaire, Russel Pickett, who was missing at the night before his raid. Daisy aims the $100,000 reward and she has Aza, who’s kind of had a “thing” with the billonaire’s son, Davis.


Through this novel that released at October 2017, Green lets us drown into Aza’s thought about everything, about how she wants to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, or maybe a good detective which eventually leads her to a spiral thoughts that keeps tightening.


The reader is asked to help its narrator evaluate herself often, which as we all know, we’re our worst and best critic. Also, we’re slowly walking into Aza’s life, how she gets on with every mysterious things she had within herself.


The storyline might not only focus on Russell Pickett’s missing, but don’t worry, the ending still worth the read, though. You will find some kinds of relationship through all the characters, like, you’ll find the reason of how an entire estate legacy would be left to a tuatara instead of human.


This review might be subjective because I’ve read all Green’s novels (including the two collaboration novels that he took a part of) and I love every single one of them, but I still have at least one thing to criticize the novel.


It was about Davis’s life at the end of the novel―no spoilers―that ended up disappointing for me. I mean, I think I started to get a crush on him, though. He’s such a soft, calm, lovely, responsible, and sweet character, the way he talks about the stars and constellations make me wonders about them too, he’s really a smart-but-not-a-nerdy type of guy.


At the almost end of story, be ready for the actual meaning of “Turtles All The Way Down”―this is why I told you that the ending is still worth the read. Green has always got surprises for the readers, like how one of the leading characters die of cancer in his previous “The Fault In Our Stars”, or like the ending of Margo’s life in Paper Towns that left my eyes in a little sweet teary (this one is my all-time-favorite-underrated-novel, FYI).


Beside writing novels, John Green also does a video blogging (vlogging) with his brother, Hank, since 2007. At their YouTube channel named “vlogbrothers”, John and Hank separately talk about a lot of random things, from books, films, jokes, a protest to education system, until an explanation of President Trump’s budget.


Speaking of which, John admitted that Aza Holmes is a totally fictional character that came from his thought of how if someone’s in a particular situation like what Aza is facing at the novel, as he explained in his introduction video of TATWD. He confessed that he had an OCD too, where at particular moments he couldn’t have control on a ‘ship’ called Myself (himself).

(the photo was taken by me)

Over all, I put this 286 paged book on a rate of 9/10 for the simple diction that I enjoyed quite a lot, well I can even see the scenes in my head, though! And the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars, John Green, has finally earn another big heart from me.


I’m going to end up this review with a quote said by Aza to give a depiction of how despairing it is to have an OCD, it goes like this:

The thing about spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely. – Aza Holmes