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The Country of Ice Cream Star

REVIEW The Country of Ice Cream Star

A post apocalyptic literary epic in the tradition of The Handmaid's Tale Divergent and Cloud Atlas and a breakout book in North America for a writer of rare and unconventional talentFrom Guardian First Book Award finalist Sandra Newman comes an ambitious and extraordinary nove I hate giving up on books I made it through the first part of the book a little over 200 pages and I’m going to call it uits The linguistic world building is uite impressive here The book is written in an invented dialect that is very involved I imagine it was difficult to write and it shows a lot of talent Younger Greg would have stuck with this and probably been impressed by the technical powers on display Middle aged Greg couldn’t stop thinking if his limited time remaining the ever growing to do list and piles of books in his apartment could justify spending time with this book The older Greg isn’t as smart as the younger one and he feels left cold with technical displays of literary craftsmanship without some kind of emotional or entertainment being involved I’m not the same person who could read some of the big difficult books and just get a thrill out of how much work would need to go into unpacking themThe book is set in a post apocalyptic America where disease has seemed to destroy most of the population The average lifespan now is about twenty years and it seems like all the white people have pretty much died off or left for a better place like maybe Europe What’s left are some small groups of kids with funny names and their own social hierarchy I couldn’t get emotionally into the book I think the language was a barrier that I could figure out what was going on but it kept getting engrossed in the story at a distance I also wasn’t sure if this was breaking any new ground in the well beaten trails of this genre besides the language aspect It was shaping up to be a hero uest type story but I wasn’t feeling like following this uest was worth another week or so of my life I felt like it was someone taking the basic post apocalyptic themes and just giving it a Clockwork Orange make over language wise—not violence and depravity wise I feel kind of bad for giving up on this I hope that other people who read it can find enjoyment than I did Angel of Sudden Hill for a writer of rare and unconventional talentFrom Guardian First Book Award The Complete Anchoring Handbook finalist Sandra Newman comes an ambitious and extraordinary nove I hate giving up on books I made it through the Screams and Nightmares first part of the book a little over 200 pages and I’m going to call it uits The linguistic world building is uite impressive here The book is written in an invented dialect that is very involved I imagine it was difficult to write and it shows a lot of talent Younger Greg would have stuck with this and probably been impressed by the technical powers on display Middle aged Greg couldn’t stop thinking if his limited time remaining the ever growing to do list and piles of books in his apartment could justify spending time with this book The older Greg isn’t as smart as the younger one and he Muay Thai Unleashed feels left cold with technical displays of literary craftsmanship without some kind of emotional or entertainment being involved I’m not the same person who could read some of the big difficult books and just get a thrill out of how much work would need to go into unpacking themThe book is set in a post apocalyptic America where disease has seemed to destroy most of the population The average lifespan now is about twenty years and it seems like all the white people have pretty much died off or left Practical Boat Mechanics for a better place like maybe Europe What’s left are some small groups of kids with Short Cycle Selling funny names and their own social hierarchy I couldn’t get emotionally into the book I think the language was a barrier that I could Break the Bipolar Cycle figure out what was going on but it kept getting engrossed in the story at a distance I also wasn’t sure if this was breaking any new ground in the well beaten trails of this genre besides the language aspect It was shaping up to be a hero uest type story but I wasn’t Innovate the Pixar Way feeling like School for Startups following this uest was worth another week or so of my life I All the Plants of the Bible felt like it was someone taking the basic post apocalyptic themes and just giving it a Clockwork Orange make over language wise—not violence and depravity wise I Fucking My Gullible Sister in Her Virgin Pussy feel kind of bad Venice Vampires for giving up on this I hope that other people who read it can Venice Vampires 2 find enjoyment than I did

READ Ø THARROWEBDESIGN.CO.UK ´ Sandra Newman

L of a future in which bands of children and teens survive on the detritus physical and cultural of a collapsed America When her brother is struck down by Posies a contagion that has killed everyone by their late teens for generations fifteen year old Ice Cream Star pursues th I can't in good conscience give the book any kind of rating as just couldn't get through it It takes a lot to offend me but the dialect I mean let's just call it what it is postapocalyptic ebonics written by a white woman Religion and Violence future in which bands of children and teens survive on the detritus physical and cultural of a collapsed America When her brother is struck down by Posies a contagion that has killed everyone by their late teens Those Good Gertrudes for generations Refined Tastes fifteen year old Ice Cream Star pursues th I can't in good conscience give the book any kind of rating as just couldn't get through it It takes a lot to offend me but the dialect I mean let's just call it what it is postapocalyptic ebonics written by a white woman

Sandra Newman ´ 1 FREE DOWNLOAD

E rumour of a cure and sets out on a uest to save him her tribe and what's left of their future Along the way she faces broken hearts and family tragedy mortal danger and all out war and much growing up for the girl who may have led herself and everyone she loves to their doom This book astounded me from the opening sentences when I discovered the story is written in an invented dialect of English that doesn't yet exist but could after generations of language evolution You can read the opening here to see what I'm talking about As this ambitious narrative style signals Newman did serious worldbuilding for her post apocalyptic novel and the reader experiences it naturally as the gripping story unfoldsIce Cream Star is fifteen years old so she's one of her community's elders in a future where every child sickens and dies by the age of twenty Ice Cream and her clan are aware that things were different in the time before a disastrous plague struck but many generations have passed since then and they know little of the world before They survive in Massa woods by hunting wild animals searching the ruins of long abandoned houses and trading with or stealing from other local groups While they've warred in the past with some of their neighbors life is relatively peaceful until the discovery of a strange child utterly unlike themselves He sets the occupants of Massa woods on the path toward a greater war than they've ever knownMuch of the content in the book is difficult as the story focuses on war and its harsh realities and also covers a range of other challenging subjects Fortunately Ice Cream serves as a powerful guide for both her people and the reader There are many fascinating aspects to Ice Cream's world that I haven't mentioned because I want you to discover them as you read The reveal of information is handled beautifully as is the choice to leave many details unexplained and one of the pleasures of this book is making connections recognizing places and interpreting words that are initially mysterious While the narrative dialect could be a deal breaker for some readers it's deftly executed and I recommend giving it a try even if you're skeptical I was so captivated by Ice Cream's voice that I often found myself thinking in it when I set the book down This is a novel that will stay with me for a long time Break the Bipolar Cycle future Along the way she Innovate the Pixar Way faces broken hearts and School for Startups family tragedy mortal danger and all out war and much growing up All the Plants of the Bible for the girl who may have led herself and everyone she loves to their doom This book astounded me Fucking My Gullible Sister in Her Virgin Pussy from the opening sentences when I discovered the story is written in an invented dialect of English that doesn't yet exist but could after generations of language evolution You can read the opening here to see what I'm talking about As this ambitious narrative style signals Newman did serious worldbuilding Venice Vampires for her post apocalyptic novel and the reader experiences it naturally as the gripping story unfoldsIce Cream Star is Venice Vampires 2 fifteen years old so she's one of her community's elders in a Venice Vampires 4 future where every child sickens and dies by the age of twenty Ice Cream and her clan are aware that things were different in the time before a disastrous plague struck but many generations have passed since then and they know little of the world before They survive in Massa woods by hunting wild animals searching the ruins of long abandoned houses and trading with or stealing The Abyss Beckons from other local groups While they've warred in the past with some of their neighbors life is relatively peaceful until the discovery of a strange child utterly unlike themselves He sets the occupants of Massa woods on the path toward a greater war than they've ever knownMuch of the content in the book is difficult as the story Influencing Powerful People focuses on war and its harsh realities and also covers a range of other challenging subjects Fortunately Ice Cream serves as a powerful guide Million Dollar Referrals for both her people and the reader There are many The Meaning of Difference fascinating aspects to Ice Cream's world that I haven't mentioned because I want you to discover them as you read The reveal of information is handled beautifully as is the choice to leave many details unexplained and one of the pleasures of this book is making connections recognizing places and interpreting words that are initially mysterious While the narrative dialect could be a deal breaker The Acupuncture Response for some readers it's deftly executed and I recommend giving it a try even if you're skeptical I was so captivated by Ice Cream's voice that I often The Blue Book of Sailing found myself thinking in it when I set the book down This is a novel that will stay with me Programmable Microcontrollers with Applications for a long time


10 thoughts on “The Country of Ice Cream Star

  1. says:

    I hate giving up on books I made it through the first part of the book a little over 200 pages and I’m going to call it uits The linguistic world building is uite impressive here The book is written in an invented dialect that is very involved I imagine it was difficult to write and it shows a lot of talent Younger Greg would have stuck with this and probably been impressed by the technical powers on display Middle aged Greg couldn’t stop thinking if his limited time remaining the ever growing to do list and piles of books in his apartment could justify spending time with this book The older Greg isn’t as smart as the younger one and he feels left cold with technical displays of literary craftsmanship without some kind of emotional or entertainment being involved I’m not the same person who could read some of the big difficult books and just get a thrill out of how much work would need to go into unpacking themThe book is set in a post apocalyptic America where disease has seemed to destroy most of the population The average lifespan now is about twenty years and it seems like all the white people have pretty much died off or left for a better place like maybe Europe What’s left are some small groups of kids with funny names and their own social hierarchy I couldn’t get emotionally into the book I think the language was a barrier that I could figure out what was going on but it kept getting engrossed in the story at a distance I also wasn’t sure if this was breaking any new ground in the well beaten trails of this genre besides the language aspect It was shaping up to be a hero uest type story but I wasn’t feeling like following this uest was worth another week or so of my life I felt like it was someone taking the basic post apocalyptic themes and just giving it a Clockwork Orange make over language wise—not violence and depravity wise I feel kind of bad for giving up on this I hope that other people who read it can find enjoyment than I did


  2. says:

    I have been trying to review this book and I am struggling So I’m going to say first off I LOVED IT Maybe I need to find a better word than “love” Because it’s not pretty There’s very little “pretty” hereThe Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman is one of those books that dumps you in a world completely foreign to your own and leaves you to figure it out as the story progresses That is not to say there isn’t world building there is it just doesn’t make anything obviousI have never made uite so many annotations on my e readerI don’t want to give anything away – even some smaller details take some reading to figure out and I think that’s awesomeOne thing that takes a while to get used to is the language Newman has essentially created a new dialect for her characters – I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a new language but it is kind of a Pidgin English although that’s not all too fair because it is not at all simplified It reminds me a little of Valleysmen in Cloud Atlas Eventually I really started enjoying this dialect because it’s kind of similar to the way that I think sometimes Newman also REALLY displays her prowess when she brings other dialects into her story with other communitiesThis book is LONG I mean not 184 long but 640 pages long And it’s an epic of war and disease and kinship It took me a long time to finish it it’s not the kind of book that should be rushed It is also not at all predictable at least it wasn’t to me which makes it an even wilder rideI would have love to read this in a class because there are a few parallels to modern world that could be discussed especially in terms of religion politics and war although you could argue they are all the same In many ways I was reminded of Lord of the Flies and The Handmaid’s Tale Many parts of the story were gut churning and decidedly not pretty Sometimes I wondered about the lack of moral fibre in these kids and other times I marvelled at the structures they managed to build into their societies“You have to understand it’s how we are here It’s like we’re all asleep We grow up we fall asleep and then the horrors that scared us before – we’re doing them We’re the monsters in the nightmare”As for the main character Ice Cream Star I really enjoyed reading her – which is not to say I always liked her Sometimes she annoyed the crap out of me Sometimes I just wanted to hug her Sometimes I felt like she didn’t really have full agency But as a character she was wonderful Her self awareness and maturity change noticeably It’s like you could see her prefrontal cortex developingThen I remember ice cream been a food I never taste I wonder what my mama dream to name me for this food as if she name me Something LostIn terms of story development this is probably one of the most uniue books I’ve read The idea of a plague killing everyone at a certain age is not new but the way in which Newman further develops that idea certainly is What happens when a cure is not found? What happens when the plague becomes the norm? What happens when children become responsible for humanity’s continued existence?The Country of Ice Cream Star happens I couldn’t recommend this book avidly Somebody please read it soon so that I can have long discussions about it without spoiling the storyI received an eARC of this book via the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


  3. says:

    Read 20315 212154 Stars Strongly Recommended to fans of post pandy fiction This one's unlike any you've read beforePages 592Publisher Ecco BooksReleases March 2015It's a great time to be a reader if you're into post pandemic dystopian literature isn't it? Lately it seems as though every author out there's devising new ways to bring about the end of the world And what I find most interesting about this sub genre the post pandy genre is the fact that these stories aren't actually concerned with the trigger the thing that brought about the near end of humanity Because the trigger is simply a catalyst The meat of these stories is in the aftermathTake Emily St John Mandel's Station Eleven She brought about the near end of the world with a nasty aggressive Super Flu Sure she has to lay down some groundwork for it but the bulk of her book focuses on what and who remains foremost in the survivors' minds What are the survivors latching onto? What is keeping them human? What connects them to others? In her case it's art and theater and cultureOr we can look at Carola Dibbell's The Only Ones In a near future a series of back to back viruses and infections plague the country and wipe most humans out People are still getting sick and dying and this novel's concerned with just one thing keeping our species from going extinct So Carola's focus turns towards genetics and cloning and playing god by manufacturing hope for humanity in a petri dishTrue to the post pandy formula Sandra Newman infects her world with a strange virus that initially rocked the United States ages ago and which now lingers dormant inside every child killing them slowly and painfully before they reach the age of twenty Hers is a world containing only children Hers is the country of Ice Cream Star and let me tell you what a country it isThe novel is told from the point of view of Ice Cream Star our fifteen year old protagonist and is written entirely in a made up dialect with no glossary of terms in sight on that later She and her brother Driver are part of the upper echelon of a small nomadic tribe of children who make their home in the woods of Massachusetts Ice Cream's group refer to themselves as tarry night sorts dark skinned and operate under a hierarchy that is greatly influenced by the disease they call posiesIt is through Ice Cream's narration that we discover the Nighted States was once way before her time evacuated under the threat of this disease If her bunch be tarry night sorts then where did all of the white people go? She ponders on Europe a name that appears in the evac notices that still linger here and there in the abandoned homes they raid as a place likened to hell and myth than an actual honest to god country people fled to because of the occasional sleepers they come into contact with the dead skeletal bodies of those who died from the initial outbreakTheir laws and rules are also mostly guided by superstition and fablesThere are other neighboring tribes that function under their own set of laws and rules with whom Ice Cream and her group interact the Christings who are godly church going people; The Lowells who live in an abandoned mill and act as laborers and merchants; and The Nat Mass Armies a military like group of males And when Ice Cream and her crew unexpectedly stumble across a grown white man hiding out in a sleeper's house during a routine raid everything they thought they knew about life and the disease that claims them all at such a young age is about to changeThis 'roo' convinces Ice Cream Star that his people have a cure for their posies and as her brother begins to show signs of the disease she becomes determined to get her hands on it What follows is a story of hardship heartbreak betrayal and redemptionThe Country of Ice Cream Star immediately brings to mind Lord of the Flies In this brave new world of parentless children and of children having children new societal norms and agreements have replaced the ones we typically function under For example women or correctly girls can and do fight in wars but mostly lack social status The Nat Mass Armies toss their unwanted female born children to the Christings kidnap others to keep as sex slaves and are allowed to choose one against their will to become the ueen of the newest Nat Mass Army king Inter group pairings were looked upon as necessary strategic moves Girls once they hit their teenage years were strongly urged to reproduce in order to keep their tribe's numbers up The Christings men though claiming to follow the word of God kept multiple wives And one particular 'Panish' group with strange Catholic obsessions hand select a man and woman usually against their will to become their Maria and Jesus while they assigned apostles to manage and maintain their city lawsThis book also has strong similarities to Clockwork Orange In the Country of Ice Cream Star they all speak in a mish moshed version of English where most words lose their first letters tober vember cember for the months of the year; lastic lectric larm magine all have their opening vowels dropped and others are just plain ole made upTry this on for sizeYa this been feary day because we find a sleeper house In houses with these dead we take no loot It be unlucky wealth Nor is good taboo to leave the house Must rid it with clean fireWords like vally bone bell and gratty are defined only by their intended use within a sentence And most of the time you need to see it appear three or four times before you truly grasp its meaning So how does one keep track of all of this incredibly ambitious and strangely beautiful dialect? Well by taking notesHonestly I don't know how I would have made it past the first 50 pages without my notes Being locked inside a single character's head for 600 pages is one thing Being locked inside Ice Cream Star's head with this trimmed down but highly complicated dialect was an entirely different animalDifficulties with decoding the dialect aside by the time I read the first paragraph I knew I was in this for the long haul For all of her flaws and naivety I found Ice Cream to be incredibly charismatic I was entirely too curious to follow her around to even consider putting the book down You wanted to be there as she comforted her dying brother as she rallied her tribe to stand alongside the roo to fight for the cure and as she fought struggled and escaped whatever perils came their waySandra Newman has crafted a fascinating and frightful alternate future one that pulls you straight down into its very heart though it's the uniue language of Ice Cream Star that holds you there tightly It's heady and ballsy and manages to break every dystopian barrier there is with a sophisticated ease


  4. says:

    This book be wolfen Kept me up late into the night wondering just how or even IF Ice Cream Star was going to succeed in her uest to save her Sengle people Also Pasha Roo Was I the only one a little in love with him? This story is fantastic so many twists and turns The author's commentary on the world's religions as seen through Ice Cream's eyes 100 years in the future makes for terrifying reading Simply put this book is beautiful Lyrical while being cut throat at the same time Stunning


  5. says:

    I can't in good conscience give the book any kind of rating as just couldn't get through it It takes a lot to offend me but the dialect? I mean let's just call it what it is postapocalyptic ebonics written by a white woman


  6. says:

    Reading The Country of Ice Cream Star TCICS I was reminded of two novels The first is Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker review It too depicts a post apocalyptic world where a young driven hero journeys from a parochial life into a much larger world and finds himself playing a much larger role than he had dreamed possible In both books the heroes retain an essential decency and innate moral resilience despite becoming wiser to how the world works And both books are written in an invented dialect In TCICS – as well as in Riddley Walker – the narrator’s English serves to bring her circumstances alive in a way that writing the novel in Standard English wouldn’t have Everything Ice Cream sees feels and does is brought into sharper focus because the reader has to experience it from a slightly skewed perspective I can only describe the writing as “exuberant” There’s an energy in it that makes reading it a pleasureThe second book I’m reminded of is William Nolan’s Logan's Run Here again we have a dystopian future A true nightmare a world run by teen agers where life ends at 21 In Logan’s Run the death sentence is enforced by the Sandmen of Deep Sleep In the world of Ice Cream Star it’s plague that has carried off everyone over 21 and it continues to do so Every child gets the “posies” around 18 or 19 and every child dies before their 21st yearIce Cream Sixteen Star is the oldest girl of a group of nomads – the Sengles – who are currently living near the ruins of Lowell Mass alongside sedentary groups like the Lowells the Christings and the Nat Mass ArmiesMy mother and my grands and my great grands been Sengle pure Our people be a tarry night sort and we skinny and long My brother Driver climb a tree with only hands because our bones so light our muscles fortey strong We flee like a dragonfly over water we fight like ten guns and we be bell to see Other children go deranged and unpredictable for our loveWe Sengles be a wandering sort We never grown nothing from anything never had no tato patch nor cornfield Be thieves and brave to hunt A Sengle hungry even when he eat even when he rich he still want to grab and rob he hungry for something he ain’t never seen nor thought of We was proud we was ridiculous as wild animals but we was bell and strong p 3The delicate balance among the various groups is soon disrupted when the Sengles capture a “roo” short for – as we learn – “Russian” Pasha apparently a deserter tells Ice Cream that there’s a cure for the “posies” but it’s on the ships of an invading army down near Washington Ice Cream determines to get that cure – both for the sake of her brother who is showing signs of the disease and for the sake of all her Sengles in fact for the sake of every child And so begins her journey into a wider and dangerous world than anything she’s seen From New York – now known as Ciudad de las Marias a catholic theocracy run by a gaggle of adolescent cardinals who would give the Renaissance Papacy a run for its money – to uantico where a band of “marines” holds on to the sacred grounds of the Mall to confronting the invaders and wresting the cure from them sort ofNot to spoil it too much but the ending is not a “happy” one Not in the sense that Ice Cream and her allies save the day and bring a new better way of life to the Nighted States It’s messy like life and that’s what makes it so much satisfying than otherwise As Ice Cream writes at the conclusionAnd I know inside this final loss I going to save this place I be small in all this blackness world this ship of drunken vampires but through my hearten wounds I living yet and all my love the same Nor death been ever arguments to me I know my truth I know ain’t evils in no life nor cruelties in no red hell can change the vally heart of Ice Cream Star p 580TCICS compares favorably with Riddley Walker I thoroughly enjoyed it and – after a long drought – can recommend something without reservation This is a remarkable book certainly the best new fiction I’ve read so far this year and Ice Cream has joined my list of “favorite characters”


  7. says:

    25 stars really This is a bleak and brutal book but when one encounters a vision of this scale and originality that must be respected well i don't really know what this book is supposed to be doing or who it's aimed at? not that that matters probably i was entertained to a point i was impressed to a point the use of language was interesting and inventive and i didn't find it difficult i have read many reviews where people couldn't get past the language i recognize it's different and will not be for all readers you will know fairly uickly if it's for you or not as you are dropped right into it from page one with no assistance from a glossary i don't have much experience or success with speculative fiction or post pandemic literature so i don't know if this is a great book for these areas? to me it felt creative as newman tried to wrestle some huge ideas ultimately though i felt the story was padded and longer than it needed to be in the acknowledgments newman thanks one of her editors for wrangling this novel down to 640p from the than 900 page original manuscript now i love LOVE a great chunky read but i think it takes a lot to make these long books not feel padded i experienced moments of 'ugh i have to pick this up again' once i got past the halfway point in the story so that was a bummer there are some fairly grim and graphic moments in the story a pandemic of 'posies' has wiped out most people over the age of 20 a cure is rumoured to exist and some characters appear who are 30 or 52 so the uest is to acuire the cure to help an ailing brother all while negotiating warring factions of children the time is about 80 years in the future or 80 years post pandemic because the kids are running things life happens uite differently they are smoking and drinking and having sex and babies very young like from 12 'parents' only ever have a few years with their kids if they are lucky so children are raising children they are taught to fight and hunt and scavenge for their existence it's not an easy life at all but in some pockets wealth and electricity and hot water and cars exist and are enjoyed though they are surrounded by looting crime and armed battlesso as i experienced with Station Eleven i often had trouble suspending my disbelief and was often asking or saying 'yes but' even though i feel the story could have been tighter in some cases much was never explained or addressed i don't tend to need to be given the full picture or have things spelled out for me in literature but i found it weird to encounter these disparities and not have it noted as to how or why even tiny acknowledgments would have been cool though perhaps this is a reflection of my inexperience in reading these types of books?i also found the ending fairly disappointinganyway i read it and i totally respect what newman's doing here i just didn't love it sorry uote from av club april 2015 reading noteswhile i am only a short way into this book i have already thought of an amped up Station Eleven several times it was a fairly recent read for me so it's a bit fresh stilll it's a bit lord of the flies ish toonewman has a great a with the WSJ in which she was asked about similarities between her novel and S11 you are interested excerpt also provided by the WSJ


  8. says:

    This book astounded me from the opening sentences when I discovered the story is written in an invented dialect of English that doesn't yet exist but could after generations of language evolution You can read the opening here to see what I'm talking about As this ambitious narrative style signals Newman did serious worldbuilding for her post apocalyptic novel and the reader experiences it naturally as the gripping story unfoldsIce Cream Star is fifteen years old so she's one of her community's elders in a future where every child sickens and dies by the age of twenty Ice Cream and her clan are aware that things were different in the time before a disastrous plague struck but many generations have passed since then and they know little of the world before They survive in Massa woods by hunting wild animals searching the ruins of long abandoned houses and trading with or stealing from other local groups While they've warred in the past with some of their neighbors life is relatively peaceful until the discovery of a strange child utterly unlike themselves He sets the occupants of Massa woods on the path toward a greater war than they've ever knownMuch of the content in the book is difficult as the story focuses on war and its harsh realities and also covers a range of other challenging subjects Fortunately Ice Cream serves as a powerful guide for both her people and the reader There are many fascinating aspects to Ice Cream's world that I haven't mentioned because I want you to discover them as you read The reveal of information is handled beautifully as is the choice to leave many details unexplained and one of the pleasures of this book is making connections recognizing places and interpreting words that are initially mysterious While the narrative dialect could be a deal breaker for some readers it's deftly executed and I recommend giving it a try even if you're skeptical I was so captivated by Ice Cream's voice that I often found myself thinking in it when I set the book down This is a novel that will stay with me for a long time


  9. says:

    As much as I loved the beginning of the book the world building the made up language and Ice Cream herself the aspects I disliked just took over the longer I read This book is chock full with rapes and it got tiring after a while On top of that it's presented in a very weird way Ice Cream condemns the Feathers for their raping ways but all the rape victims are presented as weak andor stupid and she is in love with the chief of the rapists who is repeatedly presented in a positive way The comments about all the female soldiers being raped by the Russians in the last chapter was almost punctuation at this point The second thing I really disliked was Ice Cream's love life Talk about YA cliches everybody is in love with her and the one she loves is absolutely toxic Their relationship makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like a healthy loving and caring example of what true love is Also the predominance of her love life had the nasty result that almost all the secondary characters of importance are male The female characters never last than a few chapters before disappearing in the ether if they aren't raped andor murdered that is Also what is with that ending? Is Sandra Newman aiming for a seuel? That is the only logical explanation for the lack of resolution and the vagueness of it allAgain I did enjoy many aspects of the story and her very interesting writing saves the book But gosh does it get long after a while


  10. says:

    Five Stars All the stars I cannot overstate how much I loved this book I got to the end of what 600 pages? and went right back to the start againI'd compare it to the raw youthful voice in Heather O'Neill's books combined with the innovative writing though less so of Eimear MacBride's A Girl is a Half Formed Thing with a dash of Katniss Everdeen and Cormac MacCarthy and the elements I loved from the first Divergent bookBut betterFirstly the writing just worked for me I am wary of things written in dialect too many issues unless written by a native speaker but I adore non standard English Since the book was set so far in the future the language had evolved enough for me not to be uncomfortable with a white writer tackling black voices The Sengles language was a mish mash patois dashed with French rooted words than solely the AAVE where it had its origins It was a joy to read once you fall into the rhythm I just love that stuffAlthough I would have like to see some variation once they got to Marias The lost in translation bit with the novice wasn't enough for me I did enjoy the uanticos speech patterns a lot thoughAt no point though did it feel inauthentic I never came across something that didn't work and I especially loved the early parts that set the tone like references to old brands and learning the Sengles namesIt was a masterclass in show don't tell From throwing the reader headfirst into the language to occasionally having other characters point out things the main characters don't see to never fully explaining motivations and if they can be trusted Having Ice Cream narrate other people's experiences as they were told to her Pasha's wars Russians in Massa woods etc was not a choice I would have made but it kept things ticking along nicely and also the book didn't need to be in anyone's voice but hersSecondly the plot was fab It took a lot of the usual suspects tropes even and had so much fun with them We've seen plucky heroines like Ice Cream a lot in the last few years but never with such rawness such flaws I would argue but she felt fresh on every page Her world view and her spirit just shone But the plot moved fast it was surprising The action and the violence built slowly and assuredly until the bloody climax I'm not usually an action fan but I could appreciate how it was done here I loved the balance of uiet moments loaded conversations and mental twists too For other readers the Cold War esue villains probalbly felt a bit overly familiar or clownish but I think I'm a little bit younger and from a different place for that to figure The reflections on war violence personhood loyalty trust and power that ran through every plot point and every conversation were both poignant and clever I don't think I've ever read something that showed war on such a personal levelFinally it was the characters that made this novel Oh it's Ice Cream's story and she is a wonderful person to tell it She is completely fleshed out sometimes extremely annoying in the way teenagers are and difficult in the way people in awful cirumstances but I always enjoyed her story and always rooted for her The Sengles Lowells and all the Massa people were so full of life they leaped off the page Especially Keepers and First Runner The uantico people were as smooth and prickly as I would expect military people to be Bashir and the Polkonvik were compellingAnselm was a little stereotypical I found And some of the other apostles blended together I would have like to have seen of Simon He was coolAnd I have to confess I am a little bit in love with Pasha Roo What a character The pages he was on most of them were my favourite ones of all Except when he is bad And the couple of times he was described as screaming thingsOf course we see him through Ice Cream's eyes who cares for him than she can admit to herself There is no uestion of his misdeeds but they are viewed through her lense I think he told the truth in the car that time fwiwThe duality of personhood is something this book made me think a lot about Ice Cream is the Virgin Maria but she isn't Driver is the leader but he isn't Mamadou is the cold violent New King but not to Ice Cream Pasha is a roo soldier an addict a killer and he's also the only one Ice Cream can depend on and he cares deeply for her People can be different things at once especially in times of war and mass deathEvil but needful is a phrase that runs through the book regarding war and death and lies etc The characters almost all do bad things that they feel are needful in the moment Then they have to cope with them Or they have to decide where their personal line is drawn It's humanity in a nutshell and it's uite fascinatingSo yeah I will stop now But I loved this and I think other people would love it too