“You say that a lot.”
“I feel it a lot.”
-Turtles All The Way Down, by John Green
Ever wonder what it’s like to live with a debilitating mental problem? Or do you not have to wonder because you do it every day? Or does this describe someone close to you—a friend or a family member? Then this is the book for you and you and you.
It’s a given that John Green is one of the best writers of YA fiction, like, ever. This book is great. And I’ll always recommend that everyone read it, because reading, after all, opens one up to worlds they’ve never seen and has the power to change readers into more empathetic people. It’s true—there’s been studies. But I’ll be honest, unless you struggle yourself, you may never truly understand what it’s like to live with mental illness. That’s not John Green’s fault. He agrees with me. Aza Holmes’ mother doesn’t understand. Her best friend doesn’t understand. Even her therapist doesn’t really understand. The scene that explains the title of the book embraces that unanswerable mystery. Mental illness, like pain, grief, faith, and beauty, aren’t something you “understand.” They just are.
Enough philosophy. Read this book. Read about Aza Holmes. And her mother. And Daisy. And Davis.
You might know them already.