Sunday, December 4, 2011

WinterTown by Stephen Emond

WinterTown by Stephen Emond
Release Date – December 5, 2011
Publisher Website – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 336 pages
My Rating- 7/10
**obtained at Book Expo America for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off.
Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.

When I picked up WinterTown I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I hadn’t read anything by this author before.

The writing is at time humorous, touching, and interesting. The author has a talent for art as well. The drawings interspaced through out the chapters provided a cute touch the novel. It worked well within the storyline. It made for a quicker read, because the novel is not very long when the art is taken into account.

The novel doesn’t have a lot of action. It’s more of a character driven story. These can often be deeply satisfying when done right. This one has likeable enough characters, but doesn’t dive deep enough to invoke any lasting emotional reactions.

Both Evan and Lucy are on a journey to find themselves, and grow into the adults they will be. A simple, coming of age story that everyone goes through at some point. We all struggle with living the life we want and the pressures put on us by family, friends, and others. It’s a struggle that Evan tries to come to terms with. He spends a lot of the novel trying to figure out what HE wants. Lucy’s path is different, but no less important. Lucy struggles with accepting herself, and finding that inner happiness that comes from liking yourself. She looks to outside acceptance, but doesn’t understand why anyone would like her. Again, a pretty common issue for some teenagers. This makes Evan and Lucy pretty relatable. I liked that they were able to see these things in each other, and help along the journey.

However, I didn’t get overly attached to them, because I didn’t feel like I was let in enough. I was expecting more information, especially in regards to how Lucy became this “New Lucy”. It is discussed, and somewhat of an answer given, but it just felt unexplored by the end the book.

The connection between the characters is built through memories of childhood, and this imaginary world they built. That part of the novel is quite well developed and details are provided through the art work.

The novel’s appeal is its coming of age story, and letting us see that sometimes timing really is everything. You have to be ready for the good stuff, and sometimes that journey is one that you have to be willing to take for yourself.


  1. I love coming of age stories and also ones that include drawings to compliment the writing (Laini Taylor's "Lips Touch" is an amazing example of art/story!).

    From your description, I can definitely see how these characters would be relatable, although unfortunate that you couldn't develop that deep attachment. It sounds like a great read though, love your review!

  2. I'm looking forward to reading this one!! I've had my eye on it for awhile!!


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