Cover image for Turtle under ice
Title:
Turtle under ice
ISBN:
9781534442955
Edition:
1st Simon Pulse hardcover ed.
Physical Description:
258 pages ; 22 cm.
Summary:
After her mother died a few years ago, Rowena and her sister, Ariana, drifted into their own corners of the world, each figuring out in their own separate ways how to exist in a world in which their mother is no longer alive. When Ariana disappears-- at night, in the middle of a snowstorm-- Row is left to piece together the mystery behind where Ariana went and why. And she comes to realize that she might be part of the reason Ariana is gone. --
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Summary

Summary

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 her sister, Ariana, drifted into their own corners of the world, each figuring out in their own separate ways how to exist in a world in which their mother is no longer alive.

But then Ariana disappears under the cover of night in the middle of a snowstorm, leaving no trace or tracks. When Row wakes up to a world of snow and her sister's empty bedroom, she is left to piece together the mystery behind where Ariana went and why, realizing along the way that she might be part of the reason Ariana is gone.

Haunting and evocative--and told in dual perspectives-- Turtle Under Ice examines two sisters frozen by grief as they search for a way to unthaw.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--In the six years since their mother died, Filipino American sisters Rowena and Ariana have dealt with their grief by coasting on autopilot, going through the motions necessary to keep up appearances. They even have had moments of happiness, like anticipating the arrival of a new baby sister by their likable stepmother, Maribel. But when Maribel miscarries 12 weeks into her pregnancy, the sisters' worlds come crashing down. No longer able to fake being all right, they each react in different ways. Ariana sets out in a snowstorm without telling anybody, determined to display artwork inspired by her mother at a downtown art exhibit. Rowena turns inward, rebuffing the attempts of her best friend to help her and focusing on soccer instead. Del Rosario aptly conveys each sister's depth of emotion and pain in beautifully written free verse that alternates viewpoints and helps fill the gaps in the narrative. The lyrical writing is purposefully sparse, but the author does a fine job of building a tangibly melancholy atmosphere using few words. The girls are described as brown-skinned and their dad is Filipino. VERDICT A poignant, quiet novel in verse that will appeal to teens seeking a meaningful story. A recommended purchase.--Melissa Kazan, Horace Mann School, NY


Kirkus Review

Two sisters struggle to overcome the loss of their mother.Rowena is a star soccer player with an abundance of friends. Her older sister, Ariana, is quiet, has no talents or hobbies, and pushed away her only friend. At risk of not graduating high school and feeling like a failure, Ariana leaves in the middle of the night without telling anyone. When Row wakes up and finds her sister missing, she feels unmoored. Seeking comfort, Row invites her best friend over but is instead forced to face her feelings head-on, including opening up about the fresh misery of her stepmother's miscarriage. Meanwhile, on a bus heading to the city, Ariana must also confront her inner demons when she runs into her former friend. With a sea of sadness separating them, the sisters must find a way to overcome their own pain and open their eyes to each other's suffering. Told candidly in first-person free verse poems narrated by each sister, this story of siblings navigating the world without their mother is quiet and poignant. Use of plainspoken language to illustrate the intricacies of sisterhood and explore the depths of mourning makes this accessible for reluctant readers. Row and Ariana's father and stepmother are Filipino; their late mother is cued as Chamorro. A moving story about sisterhood, family, and overcoming the insurmountable mountain that is grief. (Verse novel. 12-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Hewn apart by the death of their mother when they were young, Ariana and Rowena have grown increasingly different and distant from each other. Row, the younger sister, plays the part of school soccer star, pouring her efforts into on-field excellence. Meanwhile, Ariana, on the cusp of graduating high school or potentially failing out faces the prospect of a directionless future, while fearing that she will never truly belong anywhere. Rocked by news of their stepmother's miscarriage, both sisters retreat into themselves even more. Row doubles down on sports, and Ariana decides to take more radical steps by wandering off into the snowy night, telling no one where she went. Through twin narratives told in verse, the reader learns how both sisters nurse the still-open wound of their mother's death. While the short description may imply a thriller or mystery, the book is actually a story of profound silences and words not spoken, of secreted pains slowly and steadily revealed. Elegiac and beautiful, del Rosario's tale plumbs the deep relationships between sisters with grace and compassion.--Reinhardt Suarez Copyright 2019 Booklist


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter 1: Row Row When your older sister disappears under the cover of night, during a snowstorm, leaving no tracks and no trace, someone should notice. I noticed. When she wasn't jockeying for the shower. When she wasn't sprawled across the sectional mindlessly scrolling through socials. When she wasn't being a total bitch. But Ariana isn't here. Her open bedroom door exposes a tidy, silent room with a slightly rumpled duvet cover, emanating the smell of verbena-coconut body wash into the hall. I don't know where she went. I don't know how long she's gone for, but I'm afraid that she might never return. Because for the past few months I feel like Ariana has become that one station on the car radio that gains more static the farther away you drive, like she is the one driving farther away from something. But I don't know what that something is, and I don't know where she is heading. Maybe it's us. Maybe she's driving farther away from our history, trying to find her own future. Without us. Without me. Excerpted from Turtle under Ice by Juleah del Rosario All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.