Anxiety in 'Turtles all the way down'

By Shefa (local student)

Turtles all the way down tells the story of Aza Holmes. It’s John Green’s first novel in six years.

Aza Holmes is an American high schooler suffering from quite severe anxiety and germaphobia

leading her to experience thought spirals that would often lead to her thinking about how she can

contract a disease called C.diff.

This novel is quite stereotypical in terms of the plot and the characters but I think Green was very

thoughtful with how the story was executed. Even through Aza falling in love with her childhood

friend whose dad is a criminal millionaire, and her falling out with her best friend Daisy, the

underlying issue of Aza’s anxiety remains. No matter what is happening to her, her thoughts always

go back to her fear of germs and reopening the wound on her finger.

I think this story shows the struggles some, and I emphasise some, teenagers struggling with anxiety

go through and can help be an insight to others what these people go through. While this will quite

probably never live up to the standards John Green created for himself with The Fault in our Stars,

this is a very good read and a good comeback novel. I recommend it.

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