by Jessica Bruce
In celebration of John Green’s new book, a coworker and I got to attend a special book tour event hosted by himself and his brother, Hank. It was delightful! There was laughing, sarcasm, turtles, tuataras, and singing! Yes, singing… Audience participation style with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” John Green is one of those YA authors who truly connects with his audience whether it be on a stage, a vlog, Twitter, or with a story he tells. And it shows. When I looked around the audience that night, my heart was full to bursting. People of all ages were there and it was a packed house. Each of us were there to celebrate the awesomeness of this author!
When I discovered Green had a new book hitting the shelf, I was pretty excited. He has become the author I go to when I need a best friend (in a book). I can laugh or cry. I can be myself and let my emotions flow like water and no one will judge me. It’s just me and John Green…or rather his book. All of the above I say because he is a talented author. It takes talent to write YA with such compassion. But he also takes great care for his readers/fans. He writes YA because he enjoys it and he relates to the demographic.
Turtles All the Way Down was no different. Dare I say it might be my new favorite or at least second to Looking for Alaska? It was exceptional! Aza and Daisy are the truest definition of the title, “best friend,” I have found in literature. What an incredible and fierce love they have for one another! Everyone needs a friend like Daisy. The bulldog who will fight for you, the kindred spirit, the person you can be silent with for hours on end and it doesn’t matter, the person who accepts your annoying flaws/quirks, the person you don’t mind listening to when they rave about their fandom for hours, or the person whom you can have a knock-down-drag-out argument with and still be besties hours later. This is the person you can depend on no matter what. We all need a friend like that. Seriously.
But there is so much more to this story. Aza battles anxiety and OCD, which is something Green understands on a personal level. I think that is why I enjoyed this book so much. So many times I read a book and feel like I am exposing a part of my personal self when I read it. I experience the entirety of a book when I am really into it: from emotional dramas to the setting. But you always wonder what the author was thinking about when they wrote those words. With Turtles All the Way Down it was the reverse. Green exposed a part of himself. He shared something personal with his readers and that carries more weight than one can fathom.
If you are a YA, realistic fiction, or Green fan; this is a MUST for you!