As a first novel about growing up poor, orphaned, and prone to fits in a small Appalachian town, Icy Sparks tells a fascinating story. By the time the epilogue rolls around, Icy has prevailed over her disorder and become a therapist: "Children silent as stone sing for me. Children who cannot speak create music for me." For readers familiar with this particular brand of coming-of-age novel--affliction fiction?--Icy's triumph should come as no great surprise. That's one problem. Another is Rubio's tendency to lapse into overheated prose: this is a novel in which the characters would sooner yell, pout, whine, moan, or sass a sentence than simply say it. But the real drawback to Icy Sparks is that some of the characters--especially the bad ones--are drawn with very broad strokes indeed, and the moral principles tend to be equally elementary: embrace your difference, none of us is alone, and so on. When Icy gets saved at a tent revival, even Jesus takes on the accents of a self-help guru: "You must love yourself!" With insights like these, this is one Southern novel that's more Wally Lamb than Harper Lee.
Ick. I agree with a previous reviewer about my disappointment at her religious awakening at the end of the book. I got the feeling she knew what she wanted to end with all along and tried to make it fit. The ending overshadowed what was a fair book, but at times too cute and contrived. Would not read again nor recommend.
This book was great until the last ten pages or so when the main character gets "saved" and all of her problems are solved because she accepts Jesus. It was a cheap ending to what was an otherwise an enjoyable book. The ending actually made me angry enough to throw the book in the trash which is something I would never usually do.
This book was a great look into the misunderstanding of metal illness in decades past. Icy Sparks, the main character in this story, is one of the unfortune people to have to endure criticism, punishment, ridicule and the other personal tortures of mental illness.
This book is an easy read and worth your time for at least the education that can be reaped from the paged of this story.
This books is set in rural Kentucky in the 50's and is about a ten year old girl, Icy Sparks. She is an orphan who lives with her grandparents and has Toerette's Syndrome (spelling?) where one has the uncontrollable urge to curse aloud. Her childhood is filled with shame and humiliation...but Icy finds solace in Miss Emily, an obese woman who is also an outkast.
This is an unforgetable book overspilling with hope, the imperfections we all live with. I love books that are in the Southern female voice...this book will not disappoint!