'It Means The World To Me': John Green Knows The Fault In Our Stars Is His Most Popular Book, But I Was Shocked (And Excited) To Hear How Often Turtles All The Way Down Comes Up

 Isabela Merced in Turtles All The Way Down.
Isabela Merced in Turtles All The Way Down.

Turtles All The Way Down is the latest John Green adaptation, but before that, we got Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, Let It Snow and The Fault in Our Stars. Several thousands of readers learned of Green when The Fault in Our Stars was released, making him a worldwide known author. But I was surprised to hear which book Green hears about the most from fans – and how much it means to him.

For those who don’t know, Turtles All The Day Down released on Max as part of the 2024 movie release schedule. While I myself have said how much I love Turtles All the Way Down, there have been plenty of others that have come forward with their own reviews of the new coming-of-age movie – even actor Ryan Reynolds shared his love of the film.

While sitting down with John Green on the day the film was released to talk about the making of the movie, I asked what it was like to create a story like Turtles All The Way Down that has not only resonated with my generation, but a new generation of people now with film. Green opened up and said that it “means the world to him,” and that this book is actually what people talk the most about with him, despite it not being as popular:

It means the world to me that so many people have resonated with the story. The Fault in Our Stars is obviously my most popular book, but this is the one people come up to me the most often about. Because if they live with anxiety, or love someone who does, maybe they can find something that resonates with them in the story. That's so important to me, and it was my dream when I wrote the story.

Isabela Merced and Cree Cicchino in Turtles All The Way Down.
Isabela Merced and Cree Cicchino in Turtles All The Way Down.

John Green himself has lived with OCD and based much of what happened with Aza in his novel on certain experiences that he has had himself. With such a close connection to the subject, Green talked about how it was important to “stick the landing” when it came to proper mental health representation, as Hollywood itself has never had the best track record with that.

The Turtles All The Way Down movie has received great reviews, and while certain parts of the adaptation have been changed from the book, the spirit of the novel remains within the film, according to Green. With all of this, Green and director, Hannah Marks, created an adaptation that many fans across the world have loved and recommended to others.

But that didn’t mean every day was perfect for the Green. The Turtles All The Way Down author commented that some days were harder than others to be on set, as it was difficult to “see that stuff” up close in regards to OCD and anxiety. However, he offered praise to the director for creating such a great “environment” for the cast and crew, even on the days where it was tough:

It was really hard some days to be on set, because it was hard to see that stuff up close. But at the same time, Hannah created such a loving, collaborative, open environment, that I think we could all be ourselves on those hard days.

As someone who has grown up both reading John Green’s novels and watching all his adaptations, I was one of the first to get the chance to see Turtles All The Way Down and adored every second of it. While I’m sure that the cast will go on to continue to do great things, like Isabela Merced in The Last of Us Season 2 or Felix Mallard in Ginny & Georgia Season 3, I’ll forever love them in this movie.

And truthfully, to hear that Turtles All The Way Down was the book Green gets talked to the most about – that healed something inside of me. With so much devotion poured into this adaptation, it makes me think that we’re on a good step to proper representation for not only OCD and anxiety in Hollywood, but mental health as a whole.

Stream Turtles All The Way Down on Max now.