Book review: Icy Sparks

Icy Sparks I often say I’m not drawn to a specific genre or time period when I look for books, but there’s something about the 50s that draw me in.

In Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio, we’re treated to the story of a 10 year-old by the same name who, while growing up in rural Kentucky, tells her story of isolation thanks to her jerks, croaks and eye popping.

Her affliction, though not mentioned until the epilogue, is of course Tourette’s. Growing up as an orphan raised by her loving grandparents, Icy begins to feel isolated from her small community. Once her secret is out in the open, she feels constantly judged and alone. Often she escapes to the basement when the twitches come, just so no one will see her.

She isn’t alone though. Her grandparents, along with Miss Emily who is an overweight woman who frequently hears whispers about her from the women in town and can connect with Icy like no other. Miss Emily and her grandparents teach Icy that being different, doesn’t mean she’s an outcast and shouldn’t be proud of herself.

Throughout the book you really get the sense of Icy’s 10-year old perspective on life. You feel her frustration when she can’t control her urges, as hard as she tries, and the subsequent embarrassment she feels when people call her out. It’s should be a sad story, but though she’s only 10 you just feel Icy is strong, and has enough sass to pull through and grow stronger.

My issue is with the end. After discovering religion, and singing in (multiple) choirs, it miraculously helps her deal with her issues. Since it’s set it in the Southern States, it can be expected, but for me it came across as very convenient and too clean. I give Icy Sparks a 3/5. If you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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About Sean Bailey
Social media specialist who also happens to be a tech geek that's addicted to reading, movies, music, sports and coffee. Anything said on this blog is my opinion (obviously).

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