Top critical review
on December 5, 2001
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. ...