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Turtles All the Way Down: A Mind at War

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John Green's newest novel,

John Green's newest novel, "Turtles All The Way Down" strikes the hearts of many.

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John Green's newest novel, "Turtles All The Way Down" strikes the hearts of many.

Erika Cook, Writer

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Author John Green is known for his coming of age novels that strike the hearts of all ages. He is most known for his bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars,” a story about two teenagers fighting cancer while also falling in love. His writing style is complex and full of descriptions. He does a great job at interpreting the mind of a teenager.

Most recently, Green released Turtles All The Way Down,” which has been his most challenging story for him, as he writes from his own experiences.Turtles All the Way Down is about a 16-year-old girl named Aza Holmes, who is constantly fighting with her own thoughts. She suffers from extreme anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder that becomes excessively more difficult to manage. Holmes constantly fears germs as she has a self-inflicting wound on her finger she uses to drain out “infection.”

These repetitive and intrusive thoughts seem to be the only thing she can think of. Green is talented in the way that he writes Holmes thoughts, as it seems like a different person is controlling her, bending her to its will. She is reminded constantly of the digesting of her food, germs coming from others into her, and sweating as she repeatedly searches a Wikipedia site for her biggest fear, clostridium difficile, a bacteria that causes diarrhea and serious intestinal conditions.

Holmes is partnered with her rambunctious best friend Daisy, who cares much for her popular Star Wars fan fiction. Daisy knows of Holmes’ condition, but does a good job on ignoring it to the point of treating Holmes like a normal person.

During this time, a billionaire has skipped town after he has been found guilty for bribery and fraud and now has $100,000 reward on his back to anyone with information on his whereabouts. Daisy sees the opportunity as she knows Holmes used to be acquaintances with Davis, the billionaire’s son-from years ago at Sad Camp. The camp was a program for children who had lost their parents. Daisy eventually convinces Holmes into visiting Davis which is the beginning of something special. Though it has been years since they have last seen each other, they click immediately. Davis feels like Holmes may want to be with him just for the money, while she feels he is not capable of loving someone with so many problems. This unique love story is bittersweet as Holmes panics kissing him and is incapable of holding back her intrusive thoughts.

Daisy and Holmes begin their search for the missing billionaire, though Davis does not want her to. During their investigation, the two friends have a major conflict. Was Holmes the sun that everyone revolved around? Was Holmes disease more important than any of Daisy’s problems? Their tight bond, helped them to soon bury the hatchet, but not before a terrible accident occurred.

Holmes finale is promising; Green gives his beloved protagonist an ending of hope and help. Just as Green has found assistance from his own experiences with OCD, he gives Holmes the opportunity to do the same. The ending is truly moving for any person, not just someone that can relate. It is hard to read this story without thinking of what you could do for yourself and others who may relate to Holmes story. Although Green writes the mystery of a missing billionaire, the actual enigma was which thoughts would Holmes eventually succumb to.

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Turtles All the Way Down: A Mind at War