52 Quotes from ‘Turtles All The Way Down’ by John Green

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Of all the few books I’ve read and actually finished and understood, I can conclude that John Green is my favorite author. However, if I made a pie chart of all the authors whose works I’ve read and actually finished and understood, then Mr. Green’s slice would be much bigger than any other. So maybe I haven’t really discovered all the good there is in literature but the fact is that John Green is awesome.  Some of his books I’ve read are The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katharines and Looking for Alaska. I just love them all.

Recently I came across this awesome Instagram page, @africannovels, where they post about different African novels with a very short description. It made me want to read more African books instead of  the American or pre-twentieth century European books that mainstream media tells us are some of the best ever written. They’re pretty awesome but I also recommend giving books from all cultures a try; especially those written by people from those cultures. I haven’t been reading books from my culture and it’s fine since we’re all allowed to like whatever we like but it’s great when you know who your people are by learning about them from literature, because literature is fun. So hopefully, some day I’m gonna have more posts about books from my culture and possibly even cultures that I rarely pay attention to.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Back to the main topic, I finished reading Turtles All The Way Down  about a day and a half ago. I closed the book and took a deep breath while over 30,000 ft above the ground on a slightly unpleasant flight to Amsterdam. When I landed I went to a bookstore I’d visited about two days before. There I got two new books; Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote and  The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky, that I’m gonna read any time months from now between stressful college work when I feel like the struggle to make improve my grades won’t get me anywhere.

Turtles All The Way Down is a story about Aza Holmes, a teenager suffering from a mental illness that I honestly can’t explain quite well without spoiling the book. It gets sad in some parts where I almost understood how she and many others like her feel in real life. Aza, like the rest of us at that age and maybe even in a much older age, is just trying to get through life. Turtles All The Way Down is a story of friendship, family, love and pain. I think many people need to read this, even those who don’t understand Aza’s way of life. Only by reading it will people understand Aza’s pain and realize that everyone struggles and everyone has their own “intrusives” that make it seem like they might not get anywhere in life. But, as Mr. Green writes in his ‘acknowledgements’ section, “There is hope, even when your brain cells tells you there isn’t.”

Before reading the book, I figured I should always keep a highlighter with me in case I find any nice quotes. I found many! Now some of these might not sound ‘artistic’ or whatever people usually see in quotes but I felt they spoke great things and so I decided to make a list of them online because I love making lists because I’m weird.

“To weird,” he said

“To weird,” We clinked cans and sipped. P.146

“your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.” p.1

“you think you’re the painter, but you’re the canvas.” p.2

“it isn’t irrational to be concerned about the fact that you are a skin-encased bacterial colony.” p.3

“True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice in the matter.” p.22

“I have the soul of a private jet owner, and the life of a public transportation rider.” p.43

“you want to choose the thoughts that are called yours.” p.46

“The spiral tightens, like that, forever.” p.47

“Beauty was mostly a matter of attention.” p.58

“I can no more choose my thoughts than choose my name.” p.59

“If only I were as good at life as I am at the internet.” p.60

“Welcome to the future, Holmesy. It’s not about hacking computers anymore; it’s about hacking human souls.” p.64

“She took Star Wars stuff quite seriously.” p.66

“And why are you using the past tense?”

“Because all of this happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Holmesy. You always use the past tense when talking about Star Wars. Duh.” p.67

“but also there was something else I couldn’t quite identify, some way-down fear that taking a pill to become myself was wrong.” p.70

“Break hearts, not promises, Holmesy.” p.77

“I like being outside at night. It gives me this weird feeling, like I’m homesick but not for home. It’s kind of a good feeling, though.” p.79

“when you lose someone, you realize you’ll eventually lose everyone.” p.81

“Illness is a story told in the past tense.” p.85

“I feel like I might not be driving the bus of my consciousness.” p.86

“Adolescent sanity is so twentieth century.” p.87

“In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.” p.89

“Your now is not your forever.” p.93

“sometimes makeup feels kind of like armor.” p.94

“I also don’t talk much to other people.” p.95

“like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it.” p.97

“Nobody ever says anything is too bad to be true”. p.108

“Being vulnerable is asking to be used.” p.108

“Adults think they’re wielding power, but really power is wielding them.”

“The parasite believes itself to be the host.” p.145

“It’s a weird phrase in English, in love, like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in. You don’t get to be in anything else-in friendship or in anger or in hope. All you can be is in love.” p.149-150

“But the really scary thing is not turning and turning in the widening gyre; it’s turning in the widening gyre; it’s turning and turning in the tightening gyre. It’s getting sucked into a whirlpool that shrinks and shrinks and shrinks your world until you’re just spinning without moving, stuck inside a prison cell that is exactly the size of you, until eventually you realize that you’re not actually in a prison cell. You are the prison cell.” p.150

“I like short poems with weird rhyme schemes, because that’s what life is like.” p.151

“the daffodil knows more of spring / roses know of anything.” p.152

“I couldn’t make myself happy, but I could make people around me miserable.” p.157

“I think I might be a fiction” p.165

“But she doesn’t remind me of the past, for some reason. She feels present tense.” p.187-188

“Life is a series of choices between wonders.” p.188

“The past is a snare that has already caught you. A nightmare, Dedalus said, from which I am trying to awake.” p.188

“But gravity differs from affection / Only one is constant.” p.189

“In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how you felt.” p.208

“Thoughts are just a different kind of bacteria, colonizing you.” p.227

“Maybe we invented metaphor as a response to pain.” p.231.

“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.” p.241

“You’re not the river, you’re the city.” p.243

“It’s turtles all the way down.” p.245

“I was a story riddled with plot holes.” p.253

“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick, You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.” p.257

“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.” p.263

“You serve whatever you worship.” p.269

“I remember what I’ve imagines and imagine what I remember.” p.271

“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.” p.285

“No one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.” p.286

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