New Green book sets itself apart in innumerable ways


Mari Pletta

Coppell High School senior Jess Hernandez recommends the new book, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. The book tells a story of a teenager dealing with OCD trapped in her own mind, and was released on Oct. 10.

Jessica Hernandez, Staff Writer

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, which was published in 2012, took the world by storm as it topped The New York Times Bestseller list for 141 consecutive weeks and won the hearts of loyal readers.


Not only did it have incredible success in its original printed format, but was later adapted into a film starring Shailene Woodley, playing Hazel Grace Lancaster, and Ansel Elgort, playing Augustus Waters. Woodley and Elgort brought the main characters to life through the emotional and powerful journey that they took on the big screen.


The Fault in Our Stars shattered records big and small and even took Green and the main cast members on a short tour around the country leading up to the release of the movie.


After its success, Green found himself doubting his skills and believed he was unable to produce a book that would be better than The Fault In Our Stars. Those doubts and fears led him into an emotional breakdown set on by his own uncontrollable spirals of thoughts.


“I was elated and grateful that The Fault in Our Stars was reaching so many readers, but at the same time, I was terrified because I felt like I could never follow it up,” said Green in a vlogbrothers video. Vlogbrothers is one of Green’s YouTube channels in which he makes and shares videos with his younger brother Hank.


It was through those dark experiences that Green was able to craft the story that would become Turtles All the Way Down. After five years of not releasing books due to the fear of being overshadowed by the success of The Fault in Our Stars, Turtles All the Way Down was officially announced on June 22 and was released earlier this month on Oct. 10.


In his most personal book to date, Green tells the story of a teenager named Aza Holmes, who finds herself trapped by her own mind throughout the novel. Green has said that the kinds of problems that Aza faces are akin to his own and were written as a way to allow readers to see a glimpse into the mind of someone that deals with a severe case of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).


Aza and her best friend Daisy, who is referred to as her “Best and Most Fearless Friend,” find themselves caught up in a case worth $100,000 involving one of Aza’s childhood friends. Persuaded not by money, but by old memories and lasting friendships, Aza and Daisy set off to try and make things as right as they can.


Turtles All the Way Down is funny, real and gripping in all the right ways. It brings light to people like Aza that are trapped inside their minds and have little to no control over themselves and their thoughts for a majority of the time. In addition, Green wrote this novel with the hope that he would be providing a voice to millions of readers and attempt to break part of the stigma around mental illnesses, such as OCD.


It is a story of friendship, hope and the struggles that some people face on a daily basis. Aza’s story will tug at your heartstrings in a manner that Green’s other novels never have before. Hazel Grace and Aza Holmes are dissimilar in more ways than one could possibly count and this new novel by Green is unlike any other story he has released before.


If you enjoyed any of Green’s other books, It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini or Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley, Turtles All the Way Down will be perfect for you.