Review: Turtles All the Way Down – John Green


Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

Turtles All the Way Down

Title: Turtles All the Way Down

Author: John Green

Release Date: October 10, 2017

Publisher: Dutton Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 304

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

5 out of 5 stars


I don’t know why this book took me so long to pick up because I knew that I was going to love it. I had no idea that I was going to love it this much, though!

Turtles All the Way Down follows Aza who is living with OCD and anxiety. The book opens with her sitting at her lunch table with her friends and she is obsessively thinking about the microbiome in her gut and how more than half of her is made up of bacterial cells. She keeps spiraling through questions and answers in her head until she reverts back to her nervous habit; she pokes her thumb fingernail through the callused skin on her middle finger. She removes the band-aid, washes her hands, applies hand sanitizer to the wound, then puts on a new band-aid. All this just to ensure that she won’t get infected and then get a disease.

This is just one example of how Aza is having to live with the mental illness of OCD. She obsesses over thoughts that spiral forever in her mind. She can’t stop thinking, and is constantly in her own head. News gets out about a billionaire who left his family to escape a bad business scam. Aza knows the son of said billionaire, and her best friend Daisy convinces her to let them go and talk to the boy, Davis.

Aza hasn’t talked to Davis since they attended a summer camp back in middle school, so she’s worried about how he will react. She doesn’t want him to think the only reason they’re going to talk to him is because of the money, but she doesn’t know how to make conversation, and she’s anxious about the whole concept. The two girls go, and Aza is reminded of the crush she had on Davis way back when…

Seriously this book was amazing. Anxiety was represented perfectly in this book and I could relate to so many of the scenes in this book. I don’t have OCD, but I know that this is an own voices novel as John Green has OCD, so I’m fairly positive that it was also accurately represented.

Sometimes John Green’s characters can seem a little too quirky, but I found that all the characters were unique, but not unrealistic. I loved the relationships in this book. I really enjoyed Aza and Daisy’s friendship because they were so different. I actually really enjoyed the conflict between them because it brought to light how hard being best friends with someone actually is.

My favorite relationship in this book was between Aza and Davis. The book mainly focused on their relationship, and I appreciated that it felt real. My wonderful mother has told me many times that sometimes the best friendships are only for a certain season in your life and that that is completely acceptable and great. I think that this friendship/relationship between Aza and Davis was perfectly timed for the both of them, but wasn’t destined to last. Aza needed someone in her life and Davis was extremely lonely and needed someone who could listen and understand him. This relationship was for only a season of life, but benefited both of them so much that it’s impossible to be angry at the outcome of the relationship.

SPOILERS:

I loved the ending of this book because it was so beautifully crafted. I loved that Aza and Davis didn’t end up trying to make the relationship work even though he was moving away. I love that they let it end naturally and on great terms. The last two pages made my heart MELT because they were so perfectly written. The fact that he left her the painting that she loved and even though they weren’t together she kept it with her and became a fully functioning adult it was just so cute. The ending was beautiful and I may or may not have read the last two pages a few times :)

END OF SPOILERS

I really loved this book and I think anyone who hasn’t read it really should. The way that John Green portrayed the stream of consciousness was perfect and made you really feel like you were in the mind of Aza. This REALLY makes me want to read all the rest of his books *that I haven’t read.*

I love that the book is called Turtles All the Way Down and that the reason is because Daisy tells Aza the story her mom used to tell her. I like the story of it just being turtles all the way down.

Great book. Highly recommend. I pretty much read it in a day :)

Review: The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew #38) – Carolyn Keene


The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew #38) – Carolyn Keene

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #38)

Title: The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew #38)

Author: Carolyn Keene

Release Date: 1961

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 182

Eloise Drew asks her niece to investigate the disappearance of her neighbor, a young university student. In New York, Nancy, Bess and George are drawn into the intrigue and danger of a smuggling ring. Nancy plans a clever ruse: George is disguised as the missing Chinese girl! The girl detective is also suspicious of an unpleasant bookstore owner and his loud, overbearing female customer. A series of clues lead the girls to Hong Kong. Ned, who is studying in Hong Kong, joins them. The amateur detectives follow more clues to the international smuggling ring. This book is the original text. A revised text does not exist.

3 out of 5 stars


Just a typical Nancy Drew mystery. In a good way. :)

I love Nancy Drew, and I have ever since I read my first ones SUPER out of order back in middle school. I think I just wanted to read them in the order they were on the shelf, which for some reason wasn’t in series order, but I remember starting with 40-something lol.

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon follows Nancy, Bess, and George as they help Nancy’s aunt and her Chinese neighbors to find the girl Chi Che. Chi Che is the niece of Aunt Eloise’s neighbor. They find themselves faking identities, sneaking through bookstores, and traveling abroad.

It’s kind of hard to review some of the Nancy Drew books because this was written more than 50 years ago and is considered children’s fiction. Some of the things said in reference to ethnicity would not be okay today. The whole time, the Chinese families and students were called Orientals. So that wouldn’t be okay, but at the time it was written it was a more acceptable term.

Like I said above, this was just a typical Nancy Drew mystery. I don’t think that it’s really possible to figure out ‘whodunnit’ because you’re never given enough information to make inferences, but it was still a fun read. It was super fast and I read it in one day.

I will forever recommend this series to young readers!

Series:

Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10)

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11)

Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13)

Currently Reading (1)


College is really hindering my reading progress…

I’m currently 8 books behind on my Goodreads goal.

I haven’t read that much for fun because I have to read SO MUCH FOR SCHOOL. That English Publishing major life.

I sometimes don’t feel like reading for fun *tragic* because of all the reading for class. Vicious cycle.


Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein

I’m currently reading Frankenstein for my Foundations of the English Major class. We’ve been having to speed through it because my professor spent too long on Middle English texts. Love the organization skills in college.

I’m actually enjoying this book! I’m currently 65% of the way through this, but have to be done by Wednesday and write a 4 page paper about it by Friday. A lot of work to do still but it’s an interesting story. I’m kind of confused because the creature that Frankenstein creates can speak well. He was never taught but can hold conversations and can read. That seems a little far fetched to me. I mean any more far fetched than creating life? Maybe not, but I think he should be explained a little bit more.

 

Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2) – Kellyn Roth

Ivy Introspective  (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2)

I got sent this book by the author and it is the second book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. I think I gave the first book three stars, review here. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book but decided to give the second book a try.

I feel like I’ve read this already! It’s so weird. I don’t know if I started this and just forgot I did, but I feel like I’ve read some of the sentences before. Not just, ‘wow this seems familiar’ but more like ‘I’ve literally read this before did I finish it or did I just stop I’m so confused why do I know what’s happening?’ I’m 20% of the way through this book but it’s gone quickly so far. I just haven’t had any time to read it…. oops.

 

Shakespeare’s Sonnets – William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Sonnets

I read some of the sonnets from this book a few weeks ago for my Foundations of the English Major class and really liked sorting through the wording and annotating. Obviously am in the right major lol. I started reading the super boring introduction and they’re not real page numbers so I can’t technically track it, but I’ve probably read 20 pages of this. I really like the few sonnets I read, so am excited to continue on with this. I have NO idea when I’ll actually pick it up, but it’s on my currently reading shelf sooo.


Side note:

I’m so excited for summer. I love school and being at school, but I can’t wait until I’m done with these classes for the semester. I’m in some pretty rough classes and taking dance on top of all my classes is very taxing.

*English Publishing and Dance double major*

I am so excited to wear swimsuits everyday. I am pumped for my Chaco tan lines. Gonna be a receptionist at a local hair salon. Going to eat snow cones as often as possible. Taking two online classes over the summer, but we’re just going to pretend it’s not really a thing. It’s fine.

Hope everyone is doing well and thank you so much for reading my posts :) I hope you’re not as far behind on your Goodreads goal as I am lol.

Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

Release Date: January 24, 2012

Publisher: Crown

Format: eBook

Page Number: 370

Source: Public Library

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

3 out of 5 stars


This book was recommended to me by my ballet teacher during a conference talking about how I was doing in class. She told me that she thought that she and I were very similar in many ways, and this book was interesting to her because she is an introvert herself. I am introverted and love reading *obviously* so when I got this recommendation I immediately went and checked it out off of Overdrive from my library.

I really liked a lot of this book, but there was too much science for me. I LOVED the parts about the social aspects of being introverted and why people are the way they are, but the way the science topics were discussed was very dry and boring to me! I understand that this is a nonfiction book and there is supposed to be a lot of factual information, but it was just SO SLOW.

I wish this was mostly social aspects instead of scientific ones. I appreciated that it was there, but with all my readings for class this was just a little too dense for me during some parts.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

This was one of my favorite quotes from this book. Love it. Love that it feels true!

I learned throughout reading this and do recommend it. I think this is great for people who are introverted, but it doesn’t really teach you that much if you already know that you’re introverted. I think this would be an important book for an extroverted boyfriend, husband, or partner to read in order to understand their significant other better.

I think sometimes extroverts don’t understand that introverts DO need time to recharge after spending a ton of time with people. That we do want to stay in on Friday nights and just have a cozy reading night!

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

Again, I agree with this quote, too!

This is the first non-fiction book I’ve read in quite some time, so maybe it’s just me not getting into it quickly, or the fact that I couldn’t read for long periods of time because of schoolwork… All in all I think this was an interesting read!

February Wrapup + March TBR


Read:

  1. River Rising (Carson Chronicles #1) – John A. Heldt *review*
  2. The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  3. The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  4. The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  5. Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh *review*
  6. The Jew of Malta – Christopher Marlowe

TBR:

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain
  2. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare
  3. Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2) – Kellyn Roth

Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J. K. Rowling


The Tales of Beedle the Bard – J. K. Rowling

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Author: J. K. Rowling

Release Date: December 4, 2008

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 111

Source: Library

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.

Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

5 out of 5 stars


This was just the book I needed right now. I hadn’t finished a book in quite awhile, and felt like I was reading every-so-slowly, but this picked it right back up!

I love Harry Potter (Gryffindor power) and am co-hosting Randomathon Round 2 on my YouTube channel. One of the challenges was to read a Harry Potter book, so that’s why I picked this up from my library.

I’m so glad I read this because it was so fast paced and it was perfect for a readathon!

This book included five Wizarding World fairy tales that are told to wizard children while they’re growing up. These stories are just as well known as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. I honestly really enjoyed every single story, but I think my favorite was “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Even though I knew this story through watching the Harry Potter movies it was nice to read it in a book :)

Also, this cover is really cool. You should definitely study the cover a little bit after reading this, because you can tie each of the stories to one of the illustrations!

I think this was a great addition to the Harry Potter world, and if you get the chance you should totally pick it up! It was short and a very fast read :)

July Wrapup + August TBR


Read:

  1. The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) – Samantha Shannon *review*
  2. The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season #0.5) – Samantha Shannon *review*
  3. Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Series #5) – Iain Reading *review*
  4. Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu *review*
  5. Steel Scars (Red Queen #0.2) – Victoria Aveyard *review*
  6. Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins *review*

TBR:

  1. Mistress by Mistake – Kim Lawrence
  2. The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon
  3. The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen
  4. Love, Lies and Spies – Cindy Anstey
  5. Assassin’s Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) – Robin Hobb