Last week, I binged on John Green’s book ‘Turtles all the way down’. I’ve read three other book by John Green and absolutely loved this one. It is a remarkable piece of work, which portrays the life of a sixteen year old girl named Aza, who lives in Indianapolis and struggles to keep with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety.

The book also throws light on a good and lasting friendship with her friend Daisy, who is an avid Star Wars fan!

Here are few quotes that I found worth sharing (Spoiler Alert):

  • I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.
  • Anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.
  • We are about to live the American Dream, which is, of course, to benefit from someone else’s misfortune.”
  • I was so good at being a kid, and so terrible at being whatever I was now.
  • The whole problem with boys is that ninety-nine percent of them are, like, okay. If you could dress and hygiene them properly, and make them stand up straight and listen to you and not be dumbasses, they’d be totally acceptable.”
  • I know people often say that when secretly looking for a romantic partner, but I meant it. I definitely felt attracted to some people, and I liked the idea of being with someone, but the actual mechanics of it didn’t much suit my talents.
  • If only I were as good at life as I am at the internet.”
  • It’s not about hacking computers anymore; it’s about hacking human souls.
  • “One of the challenges with pain — physical or psychic — is that we can really only approach it through metaphor. It can’t be represented the way a table or a body can. In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.”
  • Something is going to kill you, someday, and you can’t know if this is the day.
  • The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.
  • You never think much about weather when it’s good, but once it gets cold enough to see your breath, you can’t ignore it. The weather decides when you think about it, not the other way around.
  • In job interviews they’d ask me, What’s your greatest weakness? and I’d explain that I’ll probably spend a good portion of the workday terrorized by thoughts I’m forced to think, possessed by a nameless and formless demon, so if that’s going to be an issue, you might not want to hire me.
  • It’s the only way that’s stupid if it worked alcoholics would be the healthiest people in the world you’re just going to sanitize your hands and your mouth please fucking think about something else stand up I HATE BEING STUCK INSIDE YOU you are me I am not you are we I am not you want to feel better you know how to feel better it’ll just make me barf you’ll be clean you can be sure I can never be sure stand up not even a person just a deeply flawed line of reasoning you want to stand up the doctor said stay in bed and the last thing needed is a surgery you will get up and wheel your IV cart let me up out of this wheel your IV cart to the front of the room please and you will pump the hand sanitizer foam into your hands, clean them carefully, and then you will pump more foam into your hands and you will put that foam in your mouth, swish it around your filthy teeth and gums.
  • “I feel like a noose is tightening around me and I want out, but struggling only cinches the knot. The spiral just keeps tightening, you know?”
  • “My whole life I thought I was the star of an overly earnest romance movie, and it turns out I was in a goddamned buddy comedy all along.
  • And when I look for the, like, Real Me, I never find it. It’s like those nesting dolls, you know? The ones that are hollow, and then when you open them up, there’s a smaller doll inside, and you keep opening hollow dolls until eventually you get to the smallest one, and it’s solid all the way through. But with me, I don’t think there is one that’s solid. They just keep getting smaller.”
  • “Imagine you’re trying to find someone, or even you’re trying to find yourself, but you have no senses, no way to know where the walls are, which way is forward or backward, what is water and what is air. You’re senseless and shapeless — you feel like you can only describe what you are by identifying what you’re not, and you’re floating around in a body with no control. You don’t get to decide who you like or where you live or when you eat or what you fear. You’re just stuck in there, totally alone, in this darkness. That’s scary.
  • I get that nothing lasts. But why do I have to miss everybody so much?
  • I was thinking about Davis’s journal, of that Frost quote, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life — it goes on.”
  • I missed everybody. To be alive is to be missing.
  • You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person, and why.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt bad for David, who made a huge sacrifice just to make sure that his brother doesn’t feel that their father loved them. The book highlighted mental- health issues and the fact I loved is that the last pages of book contains a list of websites of organisations that promote mental- health awareness and suicide prevention.

Thanks for the wonderful book, John!

You can follow the books I read on my goodreads profile 📚.

NB: The quotes are taken from John Green’s book, Turtles All The Way Down.