Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Review: Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: May 2010
ISBN: 9780375836886
Source: Library

Turtle in Paradise 

When Turtle is sent to live with her unknown relatives in Key West, Florida, she is happy going on a new adventure.  Though its 1935 and the depression is thick everywhere, Turtle's family is surviving.  With all the new cousins and other people she meets, Turtle might actually come out of the shell she's been hiding in her whole life.  

Things I Liked:
The mood and historic setting of this book are pitch perfect - the details of the era are so effortlessly blended into Turtle's story that you start to feel like you went back in time!  I loved the unique Key West details as well as the 1930s slang.  Holm has created a sweet character in Turtle, just finding out who she is, but the best part is the way she dressed the story up.  The ending was quite a surprise as well.  All around well-written and detailed historical fiction.  Some favorite parts:

Mama's always falling in love, and the fellas she picks are like dandelions.  One day they're there, bright as sunshine - charming Mama, buying me presents - and the next they're gone, scattered to the wind, leaving weeds everywhere and Mama crying.  p 6
I think the color of a person's eyes says a lot about them.  Mama has soft blue eyes, and all she sees is kittens and roses.  My eyes are gray as soot, and I see things for what they are.  The mean boy on the porch has green eyes.  Probably from all the snot in his nose. p 17
Things I Didn't Like:
I was actually rather disappointed in the ending.  It felt very much just cut off, as if she stopped writing and couldn't finish it.  Very abrupt and leaving a lot of details undone.  Still, it definitely has character and appeal for those interested in historical fiction with a spunky character.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

What's your favorite historical fiction setting?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Well, the quotes from it sound great. But those kind of endings do drive me nuts.

  2. Hmm. I wondered about this book, especially since I LOVED Moon over Manifest.

  3. Jenny, well it's short, so maybe you wouldn't mind spending the time, even if the ending makes you crazy? :)

    LinWash, it was definitely not as good as Moon, but still pretty good.


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