After 6 years of not publishing a book, John Green’s newest novel Turtles All the Way Down (TATWD) is getting people to talk about mental health. TATWD chronicles the life of Aza, a teenage girl who suffers from severe anxiety. She embarks on an adventure with her friend Daisy to find out more about an eccentric fugitive billionaire for a pretty big reward. Throughout the journey she tries to be her best self but the spiral of her anxiety may keep her from doing so.
Turtles is a very personal story for John Green who has been vocal about his own mental health issues. John has told his viewers about his OCD that he has been dealing with since a young age, without even knowing it. He used the visual of a spiral since that is what he visualized his own OCD and depression.
We got the chance to go to John’s book tour here in LA last week. Because of John’s anxiety, he and Hank decided to do a show instead! He explained to the audience his own issues with mental illness and read a portion of his book. Hank and John also did a mini live version of their hit podcast “Dear Hank and John” and answered some audience questions. (They also edited some of the audio into a full length podcast that you can listen to here). Hank, sorry Professor Turtleman, gave the audience a science lesson on Tuatara’s (a book reference). The real hank came out to play some of his original and viral songs.
The tour was such a fun experience and even though there was not an actual meet and greet, we agree that the John’s health is more important overall