In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive thriller.
In the ruins of a future America, 15-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of 20, they all die of a strange disease they call Posies - a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.
When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting to protect the only world she has ever known.
A postapocalyptic literary epic as imaginative as The Passage and as linguistically ambitious as Cloud Atlas, The Country of Ice Cream Star is a breathtaking work from a writer of rare and unconventional talent.
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Hauntingly Real and Beautiful
I'm a junky for the dystopian/ post apocalyptic genre, so this book seemed right up my alley based on the description alone, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it was so much more than I could have wished for. There is a richness to the world building, the language and the characters that is really beautiful and hard to shake off when you're done. So many of the reviews I read before buying this book had mixed feelings about the use of language in this book, as it's written entirely in an imagined slang that is loosely based on contemporary African American slang, with elements of Spanish and possibly French mixed in. The narration of this book is so on point that by the end of the first chapter it's like listening to well performed Shakespeare, in the sense that even when the words are foreign to your ear none of the means no is lost because the delivery of the lines manages to bring it all together. And by two or three chapters in, the language with all of its new words and rules is perfectly familiar and comfortable to your ears.
The story itself is as heartbreaking as it is exciting, you will find yourself on the kind of emotional roller coaster that a truly epic tale should take you on - the kind that you don't want to get off of. It's real and truthful in its darkest moments, but it's not all doom and gloom. There are characters who will make you laugh just as hard as you might have wanted to cry right before they entered the scene.
Several reviewers have likened it to the hunger games for grown ups, and yes, it appeals to the same kind of person who loves those books. But I don't think that the distinction as "not a YA" book is felt as heavily for the reader as those reviewers want to make you think. Especially if the YA books in the genre are something you enjoy!
Wonderful story. Great language.
- Amazon Customer