Someone once said to me John Green wrote the same book five different times and tricked people into believing that were all unique. To that person I say you’ve completely missed the point. Yes all his books are set in the high school environment narrated by a protagonist of the age range of 16-18 years old… BUT that is where the similarities cease. Each book explores human growth in one way or another, honing in on a specific aspect, excellently showcasing human nature at its rawest point.
Green uses this book as a medium to convey the struggles of mental health, particularly with OCD, providing a both confronting and educational story for all readers. Mental health struggles are not something to be ashamed of, nor are they something that can not be overcome, which is an extremely important message drawn out in this novel. We see Ava’s struggle, and subsequent decline with the ‘thought spirals’ taking her to a dark place that had me both cringing and on the edge of my seat worrying for her.
Despite not having a guiding plot to bring this story from point A to B (other than the feature of the missing billionaire), you will still be left feeling satisfied with how the book ends. No there isn’t a specific resolution conclusion, but that was never the point of this novel. Life goes on and despite the trials and tribulations we may face, we need to persevere. And that is very much reflected by the somewhat open ended nature of this book. We may never know what happens to Aza, but what we do see, is that despite everything she went though, she was on the road to recovery, or at least learning to live with the demons that she once thought controlled her. A huge step forward in the battle against your inner demons.