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Turtle under Ice

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  24 reviews
A teen navigates questions of grief, identity, and guilt in the wake of her sister’s mysterious disappearance in this breathtaking novel-in-verse from the author of 500 Words or Less—perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo.

Rowena feels like her family is a frayed string of lights that someone needs to fix with electrical tape. After her mother died a few years ago, she and
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  59 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5 Stars

"We have the capacity to be cruel, if we let the pain consume us."

This book tackles themes such as grief, identity and also the overcoming of grief after a tragedy. It also talks about siblings relationships and how sometimes it's difficult to understand the people who are the closest to you. I quite enjoyed this read, but I think that there were some unresolved issues that I would have liked to see more of.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I finished Turtle Under Ice in a few hours. I couldn't stop reading. Sure it's in verse which certainly makes it easy. However, Turtle Under Ice is lyrical, poignant, and moving. This dual POV verse novel is stunning. It's a lyrical portrayal of grief, sisterhood, and moving on. Turtle Under Ice is obviously lyrical, but it's also haunting. Like the chilling breeze in a winter forest

Ariana has disappeared. Her sister Row is first to discover this, but she can’t find any clues as to where she might be. Told in two voices in verse, this is a heart-felt story about grief and the ways it can manifest and emerge so differently for everyone.

When Row and Ariana’s stepmother loses her 12-week pregnancy, Ariana spirals into grief as the wounds of losing her mother six years prior -- and being the person with her as she died. Row, too, finds sadness welling up inside her again, but
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .

I confess that every time I see this cover, I canonly see that this girl is stabbing herself in the eye with ice. And then my mind goes to her stabbing herself with a turtle, and honestly none of this tells you anything about the book whatsoever, but I needed to get this off my chest and/or find someone to commiserate.

What I Liked:

Obviously family is ahuge focus of this book.It
Monica (Tomes Project)
Feb 15, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
dnf @ p. 45

Sadly, this one really didn't work for me. The premise is very appealing to me, which is why I requested a review copy, it's exploring grief and guilt and the disappearance of our main character's sister. But, it's written in dual perspective and both perspectives are written in verse, and for me that was kind of the breaking point of this story for me. The stylistic differences between the two sisters was not significant enough for me to easily grasp onto which sister was
Dec 21, 2019 added it
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! I’ll post a review shortly in advance of publication!
Amy Layton
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a beautiful novel in verse, perfect for fans ofTwo Girls Staring at the Ceiling. Told through both Row and Ariana's perspectives, we are allowed to see the different ways in which these girls still grieve for their mother six years after her death, and grieve for the little half-sister that they never had the chance to meet. Over the span of just two days, Row's life seems to explode: she can't find anyone to play soccer with her (her only coping mechanism), her sister has gone missing, ...more
Taylor (TaysInfiniteThougts)
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arianna is failing school, and may not graduate. She hasn’t told anyone and she has one last chance to get some extra credit so she can graduate. She’s doesn’t want anyone to know that she hasn’t done anything since her mother died.

Row is an amazing soccer player. It’s her escape of sorts. When Row wakes to find Arianna missing, she feels abandoned. She and Arianna were supposed to be there for each other, always.

Lyrically written, Turtle Under Ice a story about two sisters who are still
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it

“The thing about death is that you can never fight it.
Be it bacterial or viral,
addiction or cancer, natural causes or accidents,
something is destined to kill us.
Because in the natural order of things, dying happens.”

“But without the lights turned on,
does anyone even notice
that we are broken?”

“I’m just here. The product of a failed backstory.
In German there is a word for experience, Erlebnis,
which comes from the verb erleben,
and translates as living through something.
In English, we have no
This is an emotional punch to the throat and I enjoyed every second of it. I love a goo sibling story, and it's an incredible look at how two people who experience the same loss can grieve so differently. Stunning verse.
Levi van Zyl
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Turtle Under Ice is a book about grief, sisters, and healing. Six years ago, Ariana and Rowena lost their mother, and both girls are still reeling from the loss. When Ariana wakes up to a snowstorm to find her sister is gone, she wonders if she's part of the cause, and starts to answer questions that have been left for six years.

HOLY. CRAP. This book was beautiful and poignant and so goddamn good! I was initially interested because the cover is gorgeous, but it also sounded like a mystery. It's
Cindy Tran
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advanced-copy
Juleah del Rosario takes the reader through the different but similar ways two sisters deal with the passing of their mother. Ariana struggles with trying to let go of her grief, becoming the perfect role model for her younger sister, and finding her own place in a world so seemingly disconnected from personal emotion. Row struggles to piece together her broken family, and to prove to herself that she's more than just a soccer player.

Things I loved:
- Characterization: They way in which both
Megan Schmelzer
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We all deal with grief and loss in different ways.

Some of us become paralyzed in our lives. We are frozen and stuck. Life seems to move around us, yet we are lost without the one that is gone forever.

Others of us move on. We find happiness again with someone new. They don't replace the person that we have lost, but they do help us put our brokenness back together again. The brokenness then eventually allows happiness to enter our lives once again.

Then, there are those of us that bury ourselves
Michelle Kidwell
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Turtle under Ice
by Juleah del Rosario
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Simon Pulse

Teens & YA
Pub Date 11 Feb 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Turtle Under Ice through Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing and Netgalley:

In this book a teen navigates between grief, identity, and guilt in the wake of her sisters mysterious disappearance in this breathtaking novel told in verse.

Rowena feels as if her family is a frayed string of lights that someone needs to fix with electrical tape. She and
John Clark
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Grief following the death of a loved one is perhaps the most unpredictable emotion we experience. No two deaths affect us the same way and no one death affects two people equally. That's what this story is about, the way sisters deal with the death of their mother six years before. Rowena has dealt with it by putting all her effort into becoming the best soccer player possible. Her older sister, Ariana has checked out of life for the most part, paralyzed by overwhelming sadness. This story, in ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Two high-school/college-age sisters negotiate their grief for their mother and their stepmother's miscarriage, in free verse. I'm sure some readers will feel sympathy for the narrators, but they remained too generic for me to invest in them or their emotions very much, and the ending is horribly trite. I do think the verse form is aa good one for the story being told. The production values are low: the font for the narrators' names and page numbers is dated and unneeded, as are the faux-stains ...more
Great Books
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ariana and Rowena are sisters whose mother died when they were young. Now in their teens both are struggling to move on with their lives. Ariana takes off in the early morning in the midst of a blizzard. Rowena is frantic and doesn't know where her sister could be. Will they be able to find each other and themselves before it's too late?
Reviewer 19
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the beautiful story of two sisters as a crossroads with grief, and how it doesn’t completely go away no matter how much time has passed. It is the story of how they both learn to move forward with their grief and find each other again on the other side. Heartfelt, and raw, and stunning.
Dawn Ferencz
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked the way grief was expressed through quiet moments.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Rowena and Ariana are very close sisters, and for years afterwards, they each harbor grief from their mother's death in their own different ways. When their stepmother has a miscarriage, these emotions flare back to life. While Rowena contemplates at home, Ariana is doing the same while she makes her way through endless snow to hang up a precious painting at an exhibit. Turtle Under Ice is quiet yet expressive, accurately portraying that there is no one way to live through loss, and that it's ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, verse-novels
Edelweiss+ provided me a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I liked 500 Words or Less, so when I saw del Rosario had another verse novel coming out, I knew I would need to get it for my school library. This one is full of emotion and the verse is beautifully written.

Ariana and Row lost their mom when they were younger, and both of them are still trying to navigate their grief. When tragedy hits their family a second time, Ariana disappears and Row is left trying to figure out why.
Bonnie Grover
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I am a human with grief. We and everyone around us will someday die, and grief is all that remains in the aftermath.” A novel in verse told in the voices of two sisters trying to come to terms with the death of their mom and a miscarriage of a sister. Sad, raw emotion, beautifully told as each sister learns to navigate a loss that there are no lessons on how to live with sadness. A YA worth owning and sharing.
Allisa White
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, contemporary, poetry, ya
I've been trying to read more novels in verse lately, so when I found this one on Netgalley, I knew I needed to request it. This story was incredibly beautiful, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to read it.

Quick Thoughts
-The poetry style the author uses is spare and punchy. There's a lot of dialogue between characters, but when it turns to certain images, they are stark and touching.
-This story is not told in chronological order. A lot of it is told in present tense intermixed with flashbacks
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