Book Of The Month | November

13 Nov 2017

We know that books will always be better than the movies (not to devalue the works of all the amazing movie directors out there). I love watching movies, don't get me wrong, but when you read the book version is like you are creating your own movie inside your head you know? Generally I like reading books about things that I can relate to, characters that are around my age range or older. I don't tend to read books about teenagers set in High School because it's like, I already lived that phase of my life and I definitely try to deviate from romantic stories. But there are some that are too good not to read, that even though they do have a dose of romance and perhaps it's narrated in a teenage world, you can still take so much value from it, and that is what John Green's book are for me.

I've only read The Fault In Our Stars before jumping into the bandwagon of the brightly orange cover of Turtles All The Way Down. It's THE book of the season, I've literally seen it at least once every time I check any of my social media. But not only because it's popular but when I saw it was from Mr Green, I HAD to. Did not know what the book was about at all, I thought it had to do with turtles? the beach? animals. Something along those lines.

So I bought the book in Urban Outfitters in one of my weekly visits, of course, when I saw that orange swirl (which I totally understand now why it is a swirl). That was on Friday. I spend the entire weekend glued to the book and I can say that I devoured it until the end. Barely slept, barely ate, all I did was read. I just couldn't stop. The book was good, oh it was sooo good.

For starters, it deals with two major things I can relate into my own life: anxiety and perception of reality. I don't really talk or like to talk much about my anxiety issues but reading about it, how Aza dealt with her own type of anxiety, it was so so so relatable. I try not to dwell on my anxiety, often times not giving it attention, or perhaps I do not really know what is and what isn't anxiety anymore, so reading about it, it was as if I was reading parts of my life. At times it wasn't though because I would read about her anxiety attacks and then it would be a trigger so I would be having one as well.

Aza, the main character of the story, also questioned the idea of what is real, how do we know we are real and not just living in a fictional world. It scared her the notion that "self" is not a singular noun. The self is many things so who are we really? She felt that her thoughts were controlling her and not the other way around. Some really philosophical stuff right there for sure. I did not agree to many of the ways she saw the world though. I would have several discussions with Aza in my head completely disagreeing and other times completely agreeing. But after you read this book, you will realize the meaning of the title and the swirl on the cover and tie everything up together and it will make so much more sense.

I found it so beautiful that there was this constant debate inside my head with agreeing or not agreeing with Aza because that is what John Green perhaps wanted to reflect with the title? That the world is not only a globe but it can also be flat that is on top of turtles after turtles after turtles that go infinitely all the way down. There is no above or below us, like Davis talked about the sky and the universe. The world is not only one thing, it can mean and it can be seen, completely different to me or to you. Our realities are different, not only from person to person but also from different species. Why would we try to define what is real and what is not when we do not even know what we don't know?

So defining what is real is kind of a complex issue. But one thing for sure I can say about all of this is, just as Malik told Aza, the beauty of science is not only asking questions to obtain a definite answer but to learn how to elaborate even more adequate questions. And that is what reality is for me. It's science, it's asking more questions, it's spirituality, eating food, turtles, seeing a baby smile, the sun rays reflecting on the green leaves in front a big infinite blue sky. But mostly, reality is an infinite depth.

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