“I would never slay the dragon, because the dragon was also me.”
I am going to be honest and say that the way Aza's OCD and anxiety is potrayed is completely on point and genuine. I can actually see her struggling through it, how even after fighting it so much, anxiety takes over her mind and makes her question her every move. That was something I could relate on some level, and I really appreciate that John Green has wrote about it in a very realistic way. You can actually see how hard Aza is trying to fight it, but then comes a point when even she cannot control her thoughts no matter how much she tries. It was all just too real and heartbreaking to see how something so small, just a couple of thoughts then becomes something more than what a human mind can control.
This book would've been a brilliant read had it only focused on the main character and her life. There was so much to explore, about her thoughts and how it affected the people around her. But while you are reading and connecting with Aza, this plot of missing person keeps popping up after every few pages. And don't take me wrong, I love mysterious plots, and Paper Towns is a great example of it. But here it just seemed unnecessary and forced.
I mean, one moment you're reading about a very serious issue, and then suddenly we have bunch of teenagers talking about god knows what! I mean, even I used to wonder about many things as a teenager,. Sometimes you just start talking about something and it ends up becoming this deep and meaningful conversation. Now just take those conversations and add them to every text and dialogue. And that's how most of Aza and David's conversations go. Like, can't just they have some normal conversations once in a while?!!
Watching Aza's character grow was so beautiful, but then typical john green twists shows up. Like our characters acting way ahead of their age. Also in this case, a very unnecessary plot of how Davis' father goes missing. And the thing is that the main plot about this whole mystery isn't even being developed that much, and even at the end it's just plain.
I can go on and on about the flaws of this book, but I won't. And after having said all that, I would still recommend this book to my friends mainly because I LOVE, LOVE how John Green has dealt with the situation of a main character having anxiety. And that's the only reason I'm giving this book three starts.
Plus, being a John Green book, you can always expect a lot of beautiful quotes. To be honest, I wanted to highlight 50% of my copy with because John Green is brilliant! And here are some of my favorite quotes -
“Anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
“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.”
“True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”
“The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”
“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 in is love.”