Turtles All the Way Down

"There are something like a thousand times more microbes living in my particular biome than there are human beings on earth, and it often seems like I can feel them living and breeding and dying in and on me." Aza Holmes struggles through her junior year of high school in Indianapolis as her anxiety and compulsive thoughts spiral out of control. Her obsessions revolve around bacterial infections; while the intrusive thoughts may leave for brief periods, they always return.

Aza hasn't seen Davis Pickett since they both attended "Sad Camp," a summer camp for kids whose parents have died. When his father, a wealthy businessman, goes missing the night before he is to be arrested, Aza and her best friend Daisy set out to find him and claim the reward money. Through her search, Aza and Davis grow closer, but Aza's thought spirals become more frequent, leading to drastic behaviors.

John Green's Turtles All the Way Down is an emotional journey into the world of mental illness. Green's (The Fault in Our StarsLooking for Alaska) descriptions of the overwhelming weight of Aza's thought spirals, noted as internal arguments, are heartbreakingly vivid. Lonely Davis is poetic, brooding and desperate for someone to love him not for his money, but for who he is. Turtles is a teenage romance in which the love story is more about loving yourself than another; it is an incredibly powerful tale of the pain of mental illness, the pressures of youth and coming of age when you feel like you're coming undone. --Kyla Paterno, former children's and YA book buyer

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