Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review: Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Title: Winter Town
Author: Stephen Emond
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Little, Brown
Hardcover, 319 pages
Date Published: December 5, 2011
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
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.
Winter Town combines the wondrous setting of a snowy New England town with the fun and action of a comic book. Stephen Emond somehow creates this complicated tale of love and pain and adolescence and growing up; and then throws a comic book into the mix, but makes it work. The wintry setting makes this book the perfect curl up by the fire read.

The main characters, Evan and Lucy, are nearly impossible to not love. Evan is endearing and sweet and tries so hard to please everyone. He’s an incredibly kind person and so perfectly fits Lucy’s somewhat icy exterior. Emond writes the two of them with some of the best and witty dialogue I’ve ever read. It comes off as intelligent, but still teen-like. The dialogue was just one of the many reasons why Winter Town is a fantastic book.

As great a guy as Evan is, Lucy can be a bit prickly and messed up and definitely emo. Her standoffish, hot and cold nature made me hate her at times, but I got her too. Things aren’t easy for her and she can be immature, but her insecurities and flaws bring her to life. Without them, the conflict of the story wouldn’t feel as genuine. That conflict is infuriating though. Evan and Lucy get into these fights, but then they sort of brush them aside and big, explosive fights turn into…nothing. It’s frustrating and I wish there was more to their arguments, but I got past it and still enjoyed the book.

Then there’s the comic book aspect and the illustrations. These things are beyond awesome. I loved Evan and Lucy’s history and their shared love of art. Emond’s artwork adds some depth to Winter Town and contributes in making it a truly unique and unparalleled story. The illustrations and Evan’s dreamy world of Aelysthia are what push the book into the territory of one of my favorite reads.

Opening line: “You could have at least stayed until the ball dropped,” Evan said, making no effort to hide his disappointment. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages: Knowing this would end in misery helped in a strange way. It was hope that was the problem. Hoping feelings wouldn’t be hurt, hoping love would blossom, was painful. But committing yourself to misery, that was just a dead feeling. It was pulling the Band-Aid and embracing the pain. ~ pg. 254
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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YA Book Queen said...

I'm definitely going to try to find this one, I love books with illustrations...and the setting sounds great! :)

Awesome review!

Candace said...

Your description of the characters makes me really want to read this one! I hadn't heard of it before now! Thanks for the awesome review! On my WL it goes!

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