The Country of Ice Cream Star – Sandra Newman

Country of Ice Cream Star“My name be Ice Cream Fifteen Star.  My brother be Driver Eighteen Star, and my ghost brother Mo-Jacques Five Star . . . .”    “We Sengles be a wandering sort . . . be thieves, and brave to hunt.”  So begins a strange, dystopian journey in an American landscape ravaged by plague.  It’s a society where all die before twenty of the posy sickness; a society peopled by children.  When Ice Cream Star learns her beloved brother is dying of the posies, she sets out to find a cure and takes the reader on a bizarre adventure.

The book is written in dialect that was laborious to read at first and I almost gave up.  But after a few chapters, I realized that I was reading the dialect easily.  (Well, maybe not easily, but it was okay.)  I’m glad I stayed with it because this dystopian novel stands out.  It was funny and chilling at the same time.  I loved and hated Ice Cream Star.  She could be brilliant and incredibly stupid, kind and brutal.  The people around her were just as complex and the world in which they lived was surreal.

I recommend the book with caution.  It’s very long, and the dialect could be a real problem.  But if you’re up for a new experience, go for it.

eGalley review                  Publication date 02.10.15

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