John Green’s next book is about turtles and mental illness, and we’re so intrigued

In Christmas/Hanukkah/(insert gift-giving holiday here) has come early news, John Green is publishing a new book. His first book in six long years. Say it with us, Nerdfighter family: YAS!

Out October 10th — which is less than four months away, guys — Turtles All the Way Down follows protagonist Aza Holmes, a 16-year-old girl struggling with mental illness while attempting to help solve a disappearance case.

"I've been working on Turtles All the Way Down for years, and I'm so excited to share it with readers this October," the author said in a statement. "This is my first attempt to write directly about the kind of mental illness that has affected my life since childhood, so while the story is fictional, it is also quite personal."

We know we’re in for a heart-wrenching, beautifully written, and deep story from Green. After all, he’s the pen behind some of our faves: The Fault in Our StarsPaper Towns, and Looking for Alaska. And if this new book is based at least partly on his own experiences, we know it will be even more affecting.

But we’ll just go ahead and ask what’s on everyone’s minds: What is up with that title? Well, according to Wikipedia, the expression “turtles all the way down” is one of “the infinite regress problem in cosmology posed by the ‘unmoved mover‘ paradox.”

“The metaphor in the anecdote represents a popular notion of the model that Earth is actually flat and is supported on the back of a World Turtle, which itself is propped up by a column of turtles,” Wikipedia tells us. “Questioning what the final turtle might be standing on, the anecdote humorously concludes that it is ‘turtles all the way down.’”

And according to Penguin’s website, the title *maybe?* points to that the story also involves Tuatara: “reptiles that live in New Zealand and “look like lizards, but aren’t.”

Ooookkkkaaaaaay. We can’t imagine how that ties into a fugitive billionaire, Star Wars fan fiction, and the power of friendship (all other tidbits from Penguin’s website), but we trust Green’s judgment.

Unsurprisingly, the book will be pretty darn metaphorical. Green told Penguin, “The great thing about figurative language and symbols and the like in novels is that you don’t have to be conscious of them for them to work.”

Whatever amount of metaphor unraveling we have to do come October, we’re just glad we’re getting a new book. After all, Green hinted in September that he may not write another one, so maybe he was just throwing us off. And to that we say, “Well done, sir. This better be good.”

(Spoiler: It obviously will be.)

To pass the time until October, we’ll be re-reading Green’s other books and watching the Green brothers’ YouTube channel Vlogbrothers (and preordering his new book, obvs). Is it too early to start fan-casting the movie version of Turtles All the Way Down?

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