Customer Reviews


196 Reviews
5 star:
 (57)
4 star:
 (56)
3 star:
 (36)
2 star:
 (26)
1 star:
 (21)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Wow- a very enjoyable read!
I thoroghly enjoyed reading this book!
Gwyn Hyman Rubio effectively brings you into the world of little Icy Sparks. You feel her pain, her embarassment, her anger. I got so mad reading about her teacher, Mrs. Stilton. What made the reading more interesting is that you don't know for sure what her disorder is (although you can figure it out) until the end of the...
Published on Jan. 18 2002 by Elizabeth S.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining yet disappointing
Icy Sparks was a great tale until the end, where the main character has an epiphany of sorts..... but I will get to that in a minute.
Icy's story is well told and heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. She begins to tell of why she might "croak" and "jerk", and then the story transistions into how this effects her life as a ten year old...
Published on Oct. 20 2001 by Jamie Bourgeois


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Icy Sparks, April 22 2004
By 
Ali (Goodrich, MI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Icy Sparks is a girl who was raised by her grandparents because both her parents died when she was young. Along with growing up with no parents, Icy also has a disease called Tourette Syndrom, and doesn't find out she has this disease untill early adulthood. Her violent tics and verbal abuse, caused by Tourettes, isolates her from her peers and social life. This novel is about Icy's struggles and achievements in surviving the emotional and physical effects of tourrettes. And along the way Icy finds the meaning of love that looks beyond her disease, a love that last forever. The love her grandparents, and best friend (Emily), gave from the very beginning to the very end.
This book was hard to get into at first but soon I couldn't stop reading it. The author puts the reader in the mind set of Icy, which give the book a personality of its own. It's a real eye opener to what it's like to be mentally different but appear to be as normal as any other person. It can be confusing at times, so i reccomend it for ages 13 and older. (side note: to understand the story better read the section at the back of the book on Tourette Syndrom.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good First Novel, Dec 11 2003
By 
John Sollami (Stamford, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
This novel is simply written and direct and tells the story of a girl growing up with a mysterious condition that makes her a social outcast. She suffers from bouts of tics, jerks, uncontrollable verbal outbursts, and all the social and psychological fallout such bizarre behavior brings. Icy Sparks makes her way through school in rural Kentucky in the 1950s, and meets up with an ignorant teacher and teasing classmates, which only make matters worse. Both of Icy's parents are dead, and she's being raised by caring and loving grandparents, but there is reference to a genetic link to her father for her condition.
Icy's life plays out realistically, which makes it clear that this story must be autobiographical.
What makes this story unique is the rarity of its telling in literature. I did find the ending a bit much, although the scenes at the end were rendered well. It's only in the last two pages that we discover Icy's condition to be that of Tourette's Syndrome, which makes the book all the more effective.
For anyone with this condition or who has children with this condition, this novel is must reading. For all others, it's also good to understand and empathize with those burdened with this genetic problem.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Icy's Sparks, Aug. 27 2002
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Icy Sparks, title character and charming little girl, will win your heart. She is bright and beautiful with "hair the color of goldenrod" and eyes of "yellow ochre," but she has a secret that all too soon is revealed to the public and not only peers but adults alike fear her. She has Tourette Syndrome, but in the 1950's, it was undiagnosed and she found no relief until her 20's.
Icy lives with her adoring grandparents in a small Kentucky mountain town. The book is full of folk wisdom and lovely description of flowers and the natural beauty of the area. Characters are well-drawn allowing the reader to attain an intimacy with them that is seldom found. A stay at the state mental hospital reveals characters so despicable that they are almost Dickensian in character, making the reader empathize with Icy all the more.
A sojourn at the end into the various churches of the town and their characteristics lends humor and authenticity to Icy's emergence from fear and shame into a world where she knows she will survive. Her lovely "voice like an angel" gives her confidence and the courage to know that she will make it. The only part that did not ring true to me was all the carrying on at the end with the pentacostal stuff. It seemed totally out of character for both the grandmother and Miss Emily to fall prey to such sensationalism and perfectly on point for Icy to refuse it.
All in all, this is a lovely book with wisdom and lessons for living. Icy's insights are both wise beyond her years and charming in their innocence. Despite some rather wordy passages that could have been shortened, this is a very good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Icy's Sparks, Aug. 27 2002
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Icy Sparks, title character and charming little girl, will win your heart. She is bright and beautiful with "hair the color of goldenrod" and eyes of "yellow ochre," but she has a secret that all too soon is revealed to the public and not only peers but adults alike fear her. She has Tourette Syndrome, but in the 1950's, it was undiagnosed and she found no relief until her 20's.
Icy lives with her adoring grandparents in a small Kentucky mountain town. The book is full of folk wisdom and lovely description of flowers and the natural beauty of the area. Characters are well-drawn allowing the reader to attain an intimacy with them that is seldom found. A stay at the state mental hospital reveals characters so despicable that they are almost Dickensian in character, making the reader empathize with Icy all the more.
A sojourn at the end into the various churches of the town and their characteristics lends humor and authenticity to Icy's emergence from fear and shame into a world where she knows she will survive. Her lovely "voice like an angel" gives her confidence and the courage to know that she will make it.
All in all, this is a lovely book with wisdom and lessons for living. Icy's insights are both wise beyond her years and charming in their innocence. Despite some rather wordy passages that could have been shortened, this is a very good read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wow- a very enjoyable read!, Jan. 18 2002
By 
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
I thoroghly enjoyed reading this book!
Gwyn Hyman Rubio effectively brings you into the world of little Icy Sparks. You feel her pain, her embarassment, her anger. I got so mad reading about her teacher, Mrs. Stilton. What made the reading more interesting is that you don't know for sure what her disorder is (although you can figure it out) until the end of the book. I knew nothing about Torette's other than the foul language part, and it was interesting to find out about the eye popping and the body convulsions.
I would have liked to see a bit more description on the eye popping part. Every time I reached that part of Icy's fits, I just kept picturing the lady who had been on Letterman a few years back who could make her eyes seriously buldge out of her head.
I especially enjoyed the end of the book. It has a great ending, and you feel very happy for Icy. But don't be mislead- it's not a typical feel good book. Icy has a disorder, but she learns how to make the best of it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Eyeopening and Warm Hearted, Dec 27 2001
By 
J. Hartman (Pittsburgh, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Icy Sparks was a wonderful book that gave insight into how people, and especially children, live and deal with Tourette's Syndrome. Icy Sparks is a young girl with alot of problems. She croaks and pops her eyes out and swears when she is anxious or embarassed or angry. People in her town, even her grandparents, think there is something mentally wrong with her. They send her away to a mental institution where children with every type of mental disability live. Icy learns to love and care for these castoffs and they soften her heart. Icy is released from the institution with no cure to her problem and even more social anxieties. Eventually, she was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome. The book was a very good, quick read. It was heartwarming to see how Icy related to kids who were different just like she was. At first she was reluctant to get near them but she realized that all they wanted was to be loved, just like her. The book moved a little slowly at times but overall it was good. The book skipped big frames of time. For instance, one chapter skipped two or three years without any explanation of what had happened. The ending was very abrupt and it wasn't clear what happened to her in her adult life. What a heartwarming book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Falls Flat, Dec 5 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Rubio's title character, who suffers from as-yet undiagnosed Tourette's Syndrome, initially provoked my interest. However, as the pages turned, I soon became bored and, later on, completely underwhelmed. Despite the fanfare, this book never really covers Tourette's Syndrome, its causes, etc. Instead, the reader is treated to rather off-the-cuff (not to mention vaguely nauseating) descriptions of "eye-pops" and "croaks". The characters themselves are completely one-dimensional and there is very little development there. Though the book jacket describes Ms. Emily as Icy's only friend in a friendless town, her grandparents are actually too perfect and dote on Icy in a rather unrealistic fashion (remember, they know nothing of Tourette's - a typical adult would therefore assume, at least at first, that the child was merely acting out). Basically, characters were either very good or very bad. The teacher, unfamiliar with Icy-style behavior, is turned into an abusive dominatrix, while Ms. Emily, forever accepting, is something of a saint. When Icy is placed in the hospital, we see the exact same characters, this time, though, they are named Maizy and (forgot the nasty nurse's name, but you know the one).
I agree completely with those who felt that Icy's spiritual awakening was far-fetched. I can't imagine anyone in that book, especially considering the fact that her grandparents and Ms. Emily seemed to regard her with something resembling awe and fear, would force her to a tent revival. Further, any teenager unwillingly dragged to any event will typically do anything possible to make her unhappiness at being there known. Finally, the concept of a young teen who has not been brought up in a strict churching environment voluntarily (based on only an initial contact with religion via a rather dubious "revival") joining Bible studies, becoming a ferverent Christian, etc. is extraordinarily unlikely.
I was extremely perturbed when, after struggling to maintain even the slightest interest in Icy's "plight", I found the book and Icy's future summed up in two succinct pages. How did she get into school? How did she finally come across the necessary treatment? What has she learned? And, more importantly, how is the reader expected to believe that, at the age of 20 or 21, Icy is now a fully-qualified, self-aware, tender and understanding therapist? Huh? All in all, this book was a complete waste of my money ...and time. ...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Achieving the inachievable, Nov. 15 2001
By 
Jamie McCafferty (Manchester, OH USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Gwyn Hyman Rubio's novel "Icy Sparks" was a particularly interesting story about a girl who achieves something she never thought was possible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's ever felt left out of different. The plot is set in rural Kentucky in the 1950's. The main character, Icy, leads a tough life at a young age. Both her mom and dad have died when the story begins, her mother during labor and her father later on in
her life, leaving her as an orphan. She lives with her grandparents, Matanni and Patanni, keeping memories of her parents close to her heart. At the age of 10, she becomes aware of a very serious problem. She begins having uncontrollable jerks, the twitching of her eyes, a squeezing sensation in her head, etc. She becomes extremely embarassed about these "seizures" and the fact that they only flare in the most inconvenient times. One of her most challenging times comes during her education with an overbearing and unfair teacher. It's all Icy can do to keep her jerks and remarks hidden deep inside. Icy finds comfort in Miss Emily, a fellow resident of Ginseng. Miss Emily is an obsese woman who understands what it feels like to be the outcast in a closely-knit and judgemental community. Icy confides in Miss Emily, telling her about her symptoms as Miss Emily is her best friend and the only one who truly understands Icy's humiliation. Her life only becomes more confusing and troublesome as the tics and involuntary swearing progresses. She does not get diagnosed with Tourette's
Syndrome until adulthood. This novel is a well-written attempt to portray the hardships of a young girl's life through her experience with Tourette's Syndrome to become a very effective part of society. It's a very touching and humorous approach to a common problem and gives a inside look at her perplexing journey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Achieving the inachievable, Nov. 15 2001
By 
Jamie McCafferty (Manchester, OH USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks (Paperback)
Gwyn Hyman Rubio's novel "Icy Sparks" was a particularly interesting story about a girl who achieves something she never thought was possible. I highly recommend this book to anyone who's ever felt left out of different. The plot is set in rural Kentucky in the 1950's. The main character, Icy, leads a tough life at a young age. Both her mom and dad have died when the story begins, her mother during labor and her father later on in
her life, leaving her as an orphan. She lives with her grandparents, Matanni and Patanni, keeping memories of her parents close to her heart. At the age of 10, she becomes aware of a very serious problem. She begins having uncontrollable jerks, the twitching of her eyes, a squeezing sensation in her head, etc. She becomes extremely embarassed about these "seizures" and the fact that they only flare in the most inconvenient times. One of her most challenging times comes during her education with an overbearing and unfair teacher. It's all Icy can do to keep her jerks and remarks hidden deep inside. Icy finds comfort in Miss Emily, a fellow resident of Ginseng. Miss Emily is an obsese woman who understands what it feels like to be the outcast in a closely-knit and judgemental community. Icy confides in Miss Emily, telling her about her symptoms as Miss Emily is her best friend and the only one who truly understands Icy humiliation. Her life only becomes more confusing and troublesome as the tics and involuntary swearing progresses. She does not get diagnosed with Tourette's
Syndrome until adulthood. This novel is a well-written attempt to portray the hardships of a young girl's life through her experience with Tourette's Syndrome to become a very effective part of society. It's a very touching and humorous approach to a common problem and gives a inside look at her perplexing journey.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who's ever felt different, Nov. 4 2001
By 
Tara "Tara" (Frankfort, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Icy Sparks A Novel (Paperback)
Icy Sparks tracks the life of a bright and curious young girl with Tourette's Syndrome from age ten to adulthood. The protagonist, Icy Sparks, is from the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky. She is raised by her loving grandparents named Matanni and Patanni; an empathic friend named Miss Emily; and a caring school principal named Mr. Wooten.
At the age of ten, Icy starts to have uncontrollable urges to pop out her eyes. The urge is "so intense it was, like an itch needing to be scratched. I [Icy] could feel little invisible rubber bands fastened to my eyelids, pulled tight through my brain." Not only did Icy suffer from eye-popping tics, she also suffered from an uncontrollable need to verbally outburst thoughts that were on her mind. Icy tried to hide the fact she suffered from Tourette's Syndrome but it always flared up when Icy felt strong emotions. The town Icy lived in did not understand her disease so she was treated like an outcast. For example, she was forced out of the public school system and had to educate herself in the school's supply room. When her tics and verbal outbursts did not cease in the supply room, Icy was subsequently institutionalized. With all these educational setbacks, Icy does obtain an exceptional home-schooled education with the help of Miss Emily and Mr. Wooten.
Even though Icy withdraws from society for fear of being made fun of, Icy learns to accept her disease and, most importantly, accept that she is labeled. However, the biggest lesson Icy learns is that Tourette's Syndrome does not stop her from learning that she can love and be loved.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Icy Sparks
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio (Paperback - March 7 2001)
CDN$ 17.00 CDN$ 12.27
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews