Turtles All the Way Down: A let down (sort of)

I’m not a big fan of Young-Adult fiction or YA. To start with, I’m not a young adult so I’m not their target audience. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t great YAs out-there. I thought “Dream Country” by Shannon Gibney was a masterpiece and “Darius the Great Is Not Okay” by Adib Khorram was very cute. It just happens that “Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green is not among them.

This was my bookclub’s January pick. I should have known it would be a so-so read when even the member who proposed it (and had already read it) didn’t seem too enthusiastically about it. However, when she said John Green had Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior or OCD just like the main character, I was sold.

This is the story of Aza Holmes, a teenager who suffers from OCD. When a white-collar criminal (and dad of Aza’s love interest) disappears, Aza and her best friend, Daisy (stereotypical sassy Latina) try to solve the mystery and claim the handsome reward.

While the book delivers on its promise of a realistic portrayal of OCD, it fails in everything else. The plot is practically non-existent; most of the book the reader is stuck in Aza’s mind and they’re not even trying to solve the mystery. The characters are full of stereotypes and so cliché it’s almost offensive.

Overall, it was a ⭐️⭐️ read saved only by its very interesting and educational portrayal of OCD. Just that fact makes not regret reading.

Author: Carla Hafez

Reader of mostly literary fiction and own-voices fiction. Latina. Feminist. Amateur reviewer. Opinionated. Unapologetically progressive. Mom. Wife. Believer.

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