Turtles all the way down: a review

When anxiety, friendships, investigations and romance bump into each other.

The story features a teenage girl named Aza, her friend Daisy and how friendships can be complicated. They have quite opposite mindsets, Aza is a quiet girl trying to blend while Daisy is an overreacting, over sarcastic, joyful girl.

The plot makes the BFFs, the mysterious disappearance of a billionaire and his lizard pet collide. Daisy needs money for university fees. When a $100, 000 cash reward is offered to uncover Rusell Pickett’s vanishing she is all over the place and convince her friend Aza to sidekick. Aza is not sure revealing Mr Pickett whereabouts won’t be harmless for everybody. She used to be friend with Davis Pickett, the fugitive’ son and taking money from him in exchange of information sounds not very friendly. Plus, turns out he kinda have a crush on her. Sixteen years old Aza is then torn apart between helping her BFF to get money she really needs and doing the right thing. Blimey! it is a lot to handle. Especially, Aza has mental illness, she has anxiety disorders, appended with OCDs. Her thoughts keep her very busy.

My general opinion on this book is rather positive. I appreciated the read and as a scientist I appreciated the pun tittle. “turtles all the way down” and anxiety disorders, you could have guessed the story would be more philosophical than simply about uncovering a mystery. Particularly the motto is the “Je pense donc je suis” from Renée Descartes and is like the quest of finding your place in the world. Besides, nothing really huge happened plot-wise.

The major part of the book focuses on Aza’s thoughts (this word comes a lot in the book). The detective thing is a side story and a lot focusses on Aza’s feeling and how she deals with her mental illness and OCDs. Absolutely fine by me. Noteworthy, the synopsis emphasised the mystery and investigations and does not reflect the story. Keep that in mind when picking the book.

Positive thing, it is a short read. Negative thing, I did not like Daisy that much, she was supper annoying. To me she is the type of friend who holds you back and don’t try to accept you as you are.

The main character, Aza Holmes suffers from anxiety and OCDs and she struggles to focus on other things than her thoughts. I believe it is no fortuity that he protagonist, Aza Holmes is a detective (at least temporarily) with a mental illness. Hence, reminds me of dear Sherlock. She has a good relationship with her mom and she is seeing a psychologist. I think it is good to portray healthy behaviour for once in a teenage book dealing with depression. My opinion is people experiencing mental illness are usually portrayed as “people with super powers” like having super abilities compensating the fact they are suffering. Like it is really cool because you are a bad-ass. However, the reality is often less bright and living with mental is not like being invited at a tea party unless the Mad hatter is hosting. On TV especially, the suffering of those people is not that emphasised, and I think it is a shame because knowing you are not the only one to suffer would be really helpful for people. John Green makes a good point about this, see on page 133.

I would definitely recommend that book to someone with anxiety or depression but mostly to someone who has a parent or a friend suffering from those. Because I believe you could then try to better understand them. Don’t hesitate to seek for help, counselling is available, but also you can find help in BLOGs. I would also recommend reading Mad Girl from Bryony Gordon that I have read January 2017. It will give you a view from someone who actually suffers from mental illness and she was misunderstood by others.

See you next tile.



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