A Spiritual Revelation: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I’ve only just gotten past the half of this book today (January 24) — as in the exact half; 185 out of 370 pages — and I’m already writing a draft of this post. That’s how intense my feelings are for John Green’s latest novel: Turtles All the Way Down.

First of all, let’s talk about the title. Halfway through and I still haven’t figured out the meaning behind the title of this book. I understand that there’s probably not going to be any turtles here because there hasn’t been any inkling that there would be any but why this title? Am I missing something here??? (I should probably just Google search this and find out, once and for all, the answer to this silly question.)

Second, what the hell is up with the plot of this story? Okay, so Aza — the protagonist — is a teenager suffering from intense anxiety and OCD. And Green just goes on and on and on and on about this bit while putting in a subplot of a missing billionaire (who happens to be the father of Aza’s childhood friend) to probably mix in some sort of mystery.

Third, am I really missing something here??? Because it got an average rating of 4.12 on Goodreads and that means that A LOT of people liked it (even some of my friends) and I’m sitting here, wondering why???

I’m on Chapter Twenty-One, and finally, the turtles have emerged!

‘I laughed. “It’s turtles all the way down.”
“It’s turtles all the way fucking down, Holmesy. You’re trying to find the turtle at the bottom of the pile, but that’s not how it works.”
“Because it’s turtles all the way down,” I said again, feeling something akin to a spiritual revelation.’

Well, isn’t that something. Okay, let me continue reading. Hopefully, I can finish this book today (January 27)… once and for all!

“…and in writing it down you realize, love is not a tragedy or a failure, but a gift.”

All done and I’m suddenly out of words.

I disliked this book from the beginning. It was boring. It was all over the place, and John Green used waaaaaay too many metaphors, it’s no longer realistic. It was also excruciatingly slow-paced. And I don’t know if I could ever be on board with it.

But it was John Green. And one of my favorite books was written by John Green — Looking For Alaska, if you must know — so I can’t not read his latest work, you know?

So I tried my best to get through with it. I tried to just suck it up and read through every single page, every single chapter, until finally… it’s over.

After all that, I’m not going to say that I hate it. But I don’t love it, either. There’s definitely something there but I just… I cannot. John Green, you, good sir, have let me down once again (let’s not even get into the disaster that is An Abundance of Katherines)

This book is basically about the struggles of someone with an anxiety disorder. I know I said that I was a little bit annoyed at how Green went on and on about this bit but when you think about it, isn’t that how it is in reality for people with anxiety?

It’s an on and on thing that just would not quit. It’s an on and on thing that you just want to go away but there’s just no stopping it. It’s an on and on thing that would continuously haunt you over and over, no matter how hard you try to get away from it.

It’s just an on and on thing. And I get that. Trust me, I do.

But other than the commendable build up of a character that has a mental disorder, there’s nothing much about this that stood out. Except, well, the terrible writing.

And the “mystery” subplot?? Oh god. That one was just, ugh… a total SMH moment, really. Okay, so it’s probably just a way to get Davis and Aza to meet up again and, you know, go from there. But it was just an unnecessary bit that had no place in this story.

Turtles All the Way Down is not a favorite. But it made me realize a number of things, though. It made me see things in a different light. And that’s good. That’s something. At least.

“I, a singular proper noun, would go on, if always in a conditional tense.”


  1. Is it really? Ang taas pa naman ng expectations ko dito because.. John Green. Hehe. I love Looking For Alaska, too. ‘Yung ending as in hinihintay kong pumasok ulit si Alaska pero hay grabe!!

    PS: where do you download your ebooks Ate? Inggit ako kay Ate Kat! Hahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AY YES! Sobrang… jusko, sumakit lang ulo ko. Naging sobrang OA na ni JG sa metaphors dito, it’s not even fun anymore. Parang naging trying hard nalang yung dating niya.

      Imma share my library with you, gimme a sec. 🙂


  2. maybe it’s turtles all the way down because it’s on and on and on and on. hahahaha! An Abundance of Katherines. I still cringe. I wasn’t able to finish it because it’s so ugh Idk? Hahaha anagramming is fun, tho. I like all his other works 😦 Anw, pahingi din pong ebooks. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess so??? Hahaha di ko naisip yun ah. :p And yes, jusko. Di ko talaga magets yung Abundance na yun. Muntik ko na itapon yung libro, gurl. Sobrang walang sense. 😦 As for the ebooks, shared it sa gmail email mo (one you use dito sa WP). Tell me if you received it na. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have read 2 John Green books: TFIOS and Paper Towns. Both were okay. They’re not bad, but they aren’t good, either. Also, what’s the significance of the turtles, again? I don’t get it from the quoted dialogue. 😦

    For YA, my favorites are still David Levithan’s Another Day and Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall. Not much fan of the genre, mind you. I’d rather read Dan Brown.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I THINK, from the dialogue, it meant that there’s no point in figuring IT out (whatever the IT is; I can’t remember hahaha) because it’d be just the same damn thing until the end. Pota. Di ko rin masyadong ma-gets. 😦 LOL

      TFIOS and Paper Towns were both mehs. The movie versions of them were just as lame, if not worse. I like YAs because there are some pretty good stuff there but lately, I’ve been loving a lot of contemporary and new adult books better.

      AAAAND. Please recommend a good mystery/thriller book please. My soul is begging!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Come to think of it, I’ve only ever liked one novel by John Green. The rest were meh. I don’t know why I keep reading his works, though. Lol. And of course, you’re welcome. In case you have any requests, just tell me and I’ll see if I can find them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YA in general are fast reads kasi kaya masarap basahin. Parang wala lang, entertaining din kasi diba? Pero never ako na-interest kay John Green. Mas peg ko pa yung mga love story hahaha para kiligin ng slight!

        Thanks!! I’ll read through your stash first. I’m so excited to go through all of it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. I’ve read lots that are really good. Pero ang taas ng tingin ko kay JG because of Looking for Alaska. But I guess that’s going to be the only work by him that I’d ever like. Ang sad 😦

        Hahaha. Jusko, kinikilig ako pag kay Colleen Hoover!!

        Liked by 1 person


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