Turtles crawl their way into Green’s new book

Helen Ku, Copy Editor

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After five years of writing and tweaking, John Green, the author of the bestseller The Fault In Our Stars, released his new work, Turtles All The Way Down, this October.

Two of Green’s previous novels, The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, were both adapted into feature films.

Green’s latest work centers around Aza Holmes, a young woman looking to solve the mysterious disappearance of a fugitive billionaire while also trying to cope with her own mental illness. Green based this book on his own personal experiences and a specific kind of mental illness that affected his childhood.

The novel was published October 10. It debuted to mixed reviews, with some critics saying it was a boring plot with terrible twists, and others saying it was a relatable and funny story accompanied with some suspense and mystery. Although this novel starts off as a mystery, as the story develops it becomes apparent that Green’s main focus as an author is not on the mystery but rather on teenage friendship and love interests, along with the main character’s mental health. Aza struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, originating from a fear of bacteria and germs. Green’s book gives readers an insight into the mindset of a person struggling with this disorder.

“This is my first attempt to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected my life since childhood, so while the story is fictional, it is also quite personal,” Green mentioned in his interview with the Los Angeles Times. Like the novel’s main character, the author himself suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

John Green is a staple writer when it comes to youth fiction because he accurately captures the insecurities and awkwardness of young adults dealing with young love, friendship dilemmas and quiet insecurities. The book deals with mental illness in a way that is wholly original and impactful because of the realism the book provides. Aza expresses her difficulties with her illness in a way that is painful to read. I think many authors would have sugar-coated this story with a happy ending, but this depiction from a person that suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder at a personal level makes it that more realistic.

The novel also shows the teenager’s community and functions in, again, a realistic way. The characters in the book had problems. They suffered from pain. However, despite all that, they weren’t hopeless. They still had hope for some sort of happiness aside from all the ups and downs. Also, if you are a big The Fault in Our Stars fan, John Green incorporated a bit of romance as well.

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Turtles crawl their way into Green’s new book