I have always been intrigued by John Green’s writing style. In the past, I have read both Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and now Turtles All the Way Down, and I have noticed that there are a few recurring themes throughout each book. First of all, Green never fails to make his characters seem realistic. Instead of painting an unfeasible story about a couple teenagers who are living a dream life, Green highlights the fact that each person is fighting through their own internal struggles. And, the problems these characters face are similar to those of an actual person you could meet walking down the street. For example, the narrator, Aza, struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder. Her obsessive tendencies reflect this: “You’re fine he’s not even the first boy you’ve kissed eighty million organisms in me forever calm down permanently altering the microbiome this is not rational you need to do something” (153). This quote in particular emphasizes the fact that, even though she wants to, Aza cannot control her thoughts and is instead stuck in a cycle of battling her own mind. The signs of Aza’s mental illness are ever-present throughout the book, even when she fights against them, which I believe adds to the authenticity of her problem.
I also enjoy how Green often focuses on the power of relationships. I have found this book to be similar to The Fault in Our Stars, in that Aza and Davis need each other just as Hazel and Augustus did. Both of their characters had been undergoing challenging times in their lives when they met, and I am interested to see whether they are able to help each other cope through these difficult times in the second half of the book.
There is also the ever-present sense of mystery that Green often includes, that deals with the disappearance of David’s father, and whether or not Aza will try to find him. I was hooked by the mystique that surrounds his disappearance, but at the same time it is not overwhelming, which gives a chance for the reader to focus on different aspects of the book such as David and Aza’s relationship.
Lastly, John Green’s novels almost always incorporate a deeper meaning. I am curious to figure out if Turtles All the Way Down follows a similar path. Overall, I am excited to continue reading an unveil the answers to my questions.