John Green Turtles All The Way Down

MACKINSEY LANGLEY

Maya Black, Staff Writer

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Popular young adult writer John Green released his new book Turtles All the Way Down on Oct. 10.

Turtles all the Way Down is Green’s first novel since the wildly popular The Fault in Our Stars in 2012. The book follows Aza on her search for fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, and struggle with the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Like Aza, Green also suffers from OCD. In interviews he’s said his OCD feels like an invasive weed in his mind, spreading out of control. Many people think of the compulsive part of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but the book focuses more on the obsessive. Aza has an obsessive fear of the bacterium clostridium difficile and other contaminants getting into her body. She gets caught in her fear or specific ideas, and can’t focus on anything else. These fears spiral tighter and tighter, and never end.

In an interview with NPR, Green says he never intended to write about a character with OCD, but it was such an important part of his life he felt he couldn’t write about anything else. He also gets caught in thought spirals, and they affect the way he interacts with his world. He says that OCD can be especially difficult because because it’s very isolating. In Turtles All the Way Down Aza struggles to find the language to explain to others what she’s going through.

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