Book Review: Turtles All The Way by John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Book Review by Hazel Pagador:

This was not my first John Green book. I read two works from him from the past, “Paper Towns” and “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” I was not a fan, I only liked Will Grayson and it was a co-written book. So years later, here I am, just finished another John Green book, now I’m about to review it.

I found out John Green because it was the time when The Fault in our Stars was made into a movie and everyone was just raving about it. But I decided to just start off with Paper Towns because why not.

But I’m not here to review Paper Towns. That book was way past in the past, and I want to completely forget about that.

When Turtles came out, though it was a John Green book, I was intrigued by it. There’s close to none books where the main character has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I never read one but I kept putting it off because I was just really disappointed with Paper Towns. But oh well, Turtles I read.

First I want to talk about the OCD part. I really like that it was written by someone who is also dealing with OCD. If there are any pet peeves I have when it comes to books, is when a topic has been portrayed poorly because the author simply doesn’t know the topic. Either because it’s due to lack of research or just to put an edge to the story. So props to John this work, I realize just how serious and threatening this topic is and what it shouldn’t just be treated lightly.

With that being said, this book honestly gives me Paper Towns vibes.

This book has that mystery/thriller to it and that’s why it became like Paper Towns. But I’m then so confused because that was dropped instantly. It feels like they don’t know what else they’re going to do with THAT (mystery) storyline that they just went like “Let’s just forget about that missing person and go with your relationship”

I really dislike those parts in stories. They could’ve just let it down instantly but the characters completely didn’t care anymore until at the end. It was like the author completely forgot about that storyline and only remembered it at the end.

Those were my only problems. The entire book and the plot. I just didn’t like how things were left out until the end.

With the characters being mentioned, I want to comment that John Green’s characters are either so bland or so bad. (I’m sorry I really am, I either hate them or don’t feel anything towards them at all) But then David Pickett came in and I just want to give that boy the entire world and snuggle him in a blanket.

The characters relationship as well was really written well. I love how their individual self is different when you put them with the other ones. The relationship between David and Aza was so slow burn but the one where it’s not frustrating. I love how the author took time with their relationship and let them grow. I just really like them okay?

I also want to applaud the relationship between Aza and Daisy. I feel like we either have female friends backstabbing each other more than supporting each other. Aza and Daisy complemented each other, and that’s rare.

The ending however, no matter how bitter I was with it (which is the hopefully expected reaction) I completely think it was the right choice and how every story may not end the happy way, but the right way (I’m crying)

If every John Green book is like this, I’ll be picking up each one.

“No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”



John Green’s first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green’s career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children’s Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, “Brotherhood 2.0,” where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called “The Vlog Brothers,” which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.


Zel likes to spend all her free time reading books, which is most of the time. She also likes to jump over different genres and if she’s not reading, she’s watching a series that you may or may not have heard off.

Bookstagram: @grimreaderx
Goodreads: @grimreaderx


3 thoughts on “Book Review: Turtles All The Way by John Green

  1. Great review! I read Paper Towns and Fault in Our Stars, but I think Turtles is way better than the others. I love the characters, the relationships and the writing is just so readable but with important themes that is insightful and relatable for many people.


  2. I find it really interesting that you compared Paper Towns and Turtles because I DNF’d the first (because I found it dull) and loved the second. I also felt differently about the Aza/Daisy relationship but I agree that it was an authentic teenage relationship. Either way, this was a great review 🙂


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