Re-read Review: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Spoiler-Free)
Re-read 2020 After 3 ½ months stuck in quarantine, I think it really started getting to me. I needed something I knew I would fall right into, something that would remind me everything will go on. I was a teensy bit nervous to read this one again, just because it's been three years since I started calling Turtles All the Way Down my favorite book, three years since I read it at all. Any and all concerns were gone once my eyes focused on the first page. I debated marking my favorite quotes, but quickly realized that would mean highlighting the entire book, first page to last. I think I'm going to notice new things each time I read this book. And yes, that does mean that I plan on reading it again. Many, many times. Every word carries infinite meanings and directs you to a new train of thought. The prose can pull you down into a whirlwind of interpretations and contemplation, but at the same time leave you feeling completely grounded. What really struck me during this re-read was how real every moment of this book feels. Even though so much of it seems like it would be foreign and unrelatable- do you know anyone with a missing billionaire father who left his inheritance to his pet tuatara?- Green is able to pull the human experience into every moment and every character. I don't think this book is solely about Aza. It's not just about mystery, anxiety, or an ancient species of reptile. It's not just about life, it's about everything. Everything that exists now, everything that ever will, and everything that never will. Reeling back, I must also comment on another thing I appreciated so much more from this re-read: the secondary characters. I don't think I have enough words to properly express this yet (maybe I will a few re-reads from now), but Daisy, Davis, and Mychal were equally as interesting, complicated, and real to me as Aza. Their contribution to the story is integral, and is handled so perfectly. The same is even true for Aza's mother, Noah, Dr. Singh, and every single person we meet along the way. This book is perfect. I don't anticipate a day where I would remove it from my "to be re-read" shelf. Although, I think somewhere, deep down, I'm always reading it. I think, in my head, lies Turtles All the Way Down, all the way down.
My original review for this book (2017) can be found here.