Turtles All the Way Down Book Summary, by John Green

Want to learn the ideas in Turtles All the Way Down better than ever? Read the world’s #1 book summary of Turtles All the Way Down by John Green here.

Read a brief 1-Page Summary or watch video summaries curated by our expert team. Note: this book guide is not affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and we always encourage you to purchase and read the full book.

Video Summaries of Turtles All the Way Down

We’ve scoured the Internet for the very best videos on Turtles All the Way Down, from high-quality videos summaries to interviews or commentary by John Green.

1-Page Summary of Turtles All the Way Down

Overall Summary

Turtles All the Way Down (2017) is a young adult novel written by John Green, who wrote The Fault in Our Stars. Aza Holmes suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety which greatly impact her life. She has an ongoing obsession with finding fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, which leads to many unusual situations and some trouble along the way.

Aza is a 16-year-old high school student who lives in Indianapolis. She has an obsession with the thought of bacteria invading her body and killing her, so she cuts open a small callus on her finger and cleans it with hand sanitizer. This relieves some of her anxiety but must be repeated many times throughout the day.

One day at lunch, Aza’s friends Daisy and Mychal talk about a missing businessman. The man fled to avoid arrest for fraud and bribery regarding a sewer project. Daisy wants Aza to contact the son of the missing man because she needs money for college but Aza rejects that idea. She doesn’t want anything to do with it because she had known the son before and has no interest in reconnecting with him now since he was always so weird when they were younger.

Aza and Daisy visit Davis to find out what happened with Russell, but they don’t get any answers. They leave, but Aza and Davis start texting each other. As time passes, she doesn’t worry about her finger as much. However, when she forgets to clean it after a while, she gets very upset again. She starts dating Davis—something that wasn’t part of the plan at first—but soon finds herself attracted to him despite his wealth issues. He gives her $100k in cash: if she keeps seeing him he’ll know that it is not for his money that she’s interested in him but because of who he is as a person rather than how rich he is.

Aza does care about Davis, but her panic attacks are more frequent than ever. When she kisses him, all she can think about is how his germs have made her sick and that she wants to stop seeing him. However, Davis understands Aza’s condition and is willing to wait for them to be together in a romantic way. Daisy isn’t happy with the fact that Aza has so much control over the $100,000; however, Daisy doesn’t say anything because of their friendship.

Daisy and Aza don’t get to see each other as often. Aza wants to make it up to Daisy, so she reads her blog and writes a comment on one of her posts. When Aza visits the blog, she discovers that Daisy based a character on her—a character riddled with anxiety. The character is how Daisy deals with being friends with someone like Aza who’s always worried about germs. They fight over the issue because they both care about each other but can’t help their differences in personality. Eventually, they realize that there are things in life more important than worrying about germs all the time; however, neither of them know what those things are exactly yet…

Meanwhile, Daisy apologizes to Aza for her outburst and Aza apologizes for being selfish. The pair attend Mychal’s art show when Aza gets out of the hospital. They walk through the sewer system, which gives Aza an idea. She worries that Russell is in the sewers somewhere because he couldn’t complete his project. She tells Davis about her theory and he believes her, fearing that his father is dead. One day, Aza finds out that Russell is found dead in the sewer system. Devastated, Davis moves with his brother to Colorado where they have no inheritance because everything goes to Russell’s pet lizard due to a will written by their father before he died (or so we think). With this mystery behind them both and Davis gone now too, she can focus on keeping well again and moving on with life as best she can without him there anymore either physically or mentally (as it seems like he was living inside her head at times throughout this story).

Turtles All the Way Down Book Summary, by John Green

Enjoy this summary?

Subscribe to get my next book summary in your email.