Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.
The only book that I’ve read by John Green is The Fault in Our Stars. I haven’t been a huge fan of his, but when I read the interview that Green did with the Times, I knew I had to read this book.
Aza has OCD. She was a hypochondriac and convinced that something simple will kill her at any second. She depended on the monotony of her life, and when things change or go differently, it turned her world upside down. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue in this book because Aza is stuck inside her head most of the time. Green did a magnificent job of representing OCD and anxiety. He showed what it’s like to live with this particular mental disorder and how it effects the person’s cognitive function and interactions in society.
The characters in the story each possessed their own unique qualities. There were some characters that were flatter than I would have liked, but the main focuses were Aza and her best friend, Daisy. There were plenty of moments where I didn’t like Daisy. She wrote fan fiction, and I knew that she would incorporate people in her life in the story, but the way she truly felt about Aza lacked empathy and was harsh. I would have liked it better if there had been more of a resolution to these feelings, but the characters sort of got over it and were done.
I’ll admit, there were weak areas. Still, once I sat down to start reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I read the book quickly and easily. It’s not the best book that I’ve ever read, but I enjoyed it for what it was and the story that Green gave readers. One of the main issues that I had with the book, besides that I didn’t quite catch on to what I think he was trying to do with Daisy and Aza’s friendship, was the romance. It didn’t exist much. There was Davis, a past that I didn’t quite understand (and I created the story more in my head than he did on the page), and the distance between the characters. I understood what atmosphere he tried to create with the romance, but Aza and Davis were almost too separate from each other. However, I can look at this in another light: he showed how Aza did distance herself from everyone and couldn’t help it. In other words, if you’re looking for a good, heavy romance, this isn’t the book to read.
If you’re a fan of Green’s, then this is a good book to add to your library. It’s typical John Green and ends with the characters up in the air. I liked it, and I passed it on to my mom and can definitely recommend it to people.