I’m a big nerd fighter – okay, meek and mediocre but secretly clingy nerd fighter – so it’s not really a surprise that I read and loved John Green’s new book Turtles All the Way Down in one sitting. It’s my favorite of his so far, and SUCH and important book in terms of mental health representation. I don’t have OCD, but I have had intrusive thoughts related to trauma. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that experience explained on the page as well as in this book. Expect a (glowing) review soon, but until then here are some of the quotes I underlined furiously while devouring this book Tuesday night. Don’t worry, no spoilers!
“I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.”
“I could feel the tension in the air, and I knew he was trying to figure out how to make me happy again. His brain was spinning right alongside mine. I couldn’t make myself happy, but I could make people around me miserable.”
“Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome.”
“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.”
“I wanted to tell her that I was getting better, because that was supposed to be the narrative of illness: It was a hurdle you jumped over, or a battle you won. Illness is a story told in the past tense.”
“The problem with happy endings … is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things bet better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”
“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.”