Book review for Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
THREE and a HALF STARS
(Simon Pulse, February 11, 2020)
Turtle Under Ice is styled a novel by its author, but I’d audaciously argue that it is more a novella, due to its length. I finished it cover to cover in 90 minutes. The work is laid out as if written in verse, giving it quite an artistic, poetic look and feel. Regardless of what it is or isn’t, I found it an intriguing read and worth the hour and half it took out of my Sunday afternoon.
To avoid spoilers, I’ll only say it turns out to be much different from what it starts out to be, or what it is represented to be by its marketing plugs. Be that as it may, it pulls off the change without betrayal, not as a bait and switch but as a device to drive home its purpose.
The book opens with two high school sisters who take turns narrating, telling the story back and forth. One is on the run; one is worrying why her sister has disappeared. There is tension, emotion, and grief. Their mother has died, to begin with, and they’re hit with new loss, with fear, with confusion and unmooring as they both try to find understanding with all life throws at them and a way to move forward.
The love between sisters is tangible, along with other pain, as their journey unfolds. A lot of discovery happens in the four or five-ish hours the story covers, and the author does an effective job of taking the reader alongside the protagonists through the emotions that accompany these discoveries.
I actually give the rating of three and a half stars, half way between “I liked it” and “I really liked it,” but most places only allow full stars, so I can happily round up when needed. It wasn’t a huge time investment and for the time, it paid out just fine.
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Life with Quadruplets
As a mother of quadruplets, I've had plenty of crazy experiences raising "supertwins." I blog a lot of memories about my kids. Sometimes just my thoughts on things. I get those sometimes—when my brain works. Which is about one third of the time.