Review #44

Alas! I’m back. It’s been a busy year.

To catch you up: Italy, gelato, stuck in Norway, work, work, work, baking, cello, flute, studying, work, learning another language, not sleeping for 72 hours, “wait… is it really Summer?”, and here we are.

To kick this season off, let’s start with John Green’s newest book, Turtles All the Way Down.

This book is very real. Who am I kidding, all of Green’s books are. But this one in particular was acutely in tune with a different kind of teenage reality. It wasn’t all about love, mystery, or death. It explored mental illness, and in a shockingly vivid way.

At times this book was redundant, and the characters were sometimes frustratingly imperfect. Annoying even. You could almost critique this book for that, but not quite. Because after reading it I realized that it was that way on purpose. We’re surrounded by books filled with perfectly designed character arcs, satisfying endings, good relationships, and solutions. This book was repetitive and flawed because mental illnesses are repetitive and flawed. Green doesn’t need to make his characters pleasant to make them award winning.

At times you will want to scream at Aza to stop thinking about spirals. But I want you to think about how she must feel.

I bet she wants to scream too.

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake



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